Columbia Bottom Conservation Area hosting Hunter’s Moon hayrides Oct. 20 and 21

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SPANISH LAKE, Mo.—Discover nature under the light of the Hunter’s Moon at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.

Columbia Bottom will hold Hunter’s Moon hayrides Thursday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 2 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. both evenings.  Light from the waning Hunter’s Moon will offer visitors a chance to see nature come to life after sunset. A hayride through the rich mosaic of natural habitats on the 4,300-acre conservation area is a perfect way to explore the sights and sounds of its nocturnal residents. Rides will depart from the visitor center at 5:30, 5:45, 7:15, and 7:30 each night. They will last about 90 minutes.

Riders might have the opportunity to see or hear owls, coyotes or deer. There may also be migrating waterfowl inhabiting the area’s wetlands. Each ride will be guided by a MDC naturalist who will explain and interpret the sights and sounds along the way.

The Hunter’s Moon is the next full moon that occurs after the Harvest Moon. This year it will be Oct. 16, just before the hayrides. In tradition and folklore, the Hunter’s Moon gave hunters the extra light they needed to stalk nocturnal prey that came to fields foraging stubble left from the crop harvest.

The Hunter’s Moon hayrides at Columbia Bottom are free, but advanced registration is required by calling 314-877-6014. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. Accommodations for visitors with disabilities are also available with advanced notice.

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in Spanish Lake. It can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive exit three miles north from I-270.

The Hunter’s Moon hayrides are one of the many programs and events offered by MDC throughout the St. Louis area to help people discover nature. To keep informed of all activities, subscribe to the free monthly Conservation Connections Newsletter by visiting or sign up for email news updates at