CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has the perfect cure for cabin fever. February’s Conservation Destination is Apple Creek Conservation Area (CA), about 30 minutes north of Cape Girardeau. Jordi Brostoski, a Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) naturalist, said to make reservations now for the Feb. 25 program. She said the group will meet at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center and finish up around 4 p.m.
“Apple Creek is a great place to hike,” Brostoski said. “You always learn new things about an area by viewing it during winter.”
Apple Creek CA is designated as an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Brostoski said this Conservation Destination is a great opportunity for those participating in “Our Big Year”, an ongoing birding competition at the nature center.
“Those who attend the hike and aren’t already participating in ‘Our Big Year’ might decide to take up birding after this trip,” she said. “For those who are already keeping track of their birds, expect to add to your list at Apple Creek.”
Apple Creek Conservation Area is located in northeast Cape Girardeau County, three miles east of New Wells on Route CC. The area became a conservation area in 1986 when MDC purchased the 2,082 acres from several landowners. Steep hills and narrow valleys characterize the area, and approximately 2.5 miles of Apple Creek stream frontage forms its northern border. Visitors can expect to see a mix of upland oak-hickory forests and a few bottomland forests. MDC has created watering ponds and planted food plots and agricultural crops within the forest to provide additional food sources for wildlife.
Brostoski said the hike will travel through the area’s oak-hickory forest for about four miles. The trail is rated moderate to difficult. Youth ages 12 and up are welcome with parental supervision. Reservations must be made a day in advance by calling (573)290-5218.
More information about programs at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is available at mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.