Look no further than MDC Cape Nature Center for fun, educational winter activities

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature in January with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free programs!

  • Conservation Families: Owl Prowl | When: 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Jan. 12 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xc

Calling all owls! Discover the special features of owls with a brief indoor presentation, then it’s time to hit the trail in search of these night-time predators.

The trail is not stroller accessible and is rated moderate to difficult, with steep hills and loose gravel. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather as a large portion of the program will take place outdoors. Program may be canceled due to rain or snow.

  • Hiking: Hawn State Park | When: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Jan. 14 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xp

Hawn State Park in St. Genevieve County is one of Missouri’s most scenic and special state parks. This naturalist-led hike will introduce you to roughly eight miles of the Whispering Pines Trail.

This section of the trail is hilly, crosses several creeks, and due to its length, requires a moderate to high level of fitness. So, bring sturdy shoes, a water bottle, lunch, and a small backpack. If you’re ready for a rugged adventure, this is the trail for you!

Plan to meet at the Cape Nature Center for departure at 7:30 a.m. If you plan to meet the group at Hawn State Park, please contact the instructor beforehand.

  • Outdoor Skills: Be Your Own Bike Mechanic | When: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | No registration required.

Let’s get your bike ready for spring weather! This fun program will teach you new skills and help you save money by showing you the basics of bike maintenance and repair. Be prepared for a hands-on experience as you learn to fix a flat, adjust brakes, and get you shifting more smoothly.

No prior experience necessary. Demonstration bikes and tools will be provided. Please wear clothing which you don’t mind getting dirty!

  • Discover Nature: Winter Family Fun | When: 2 – 4 p.m. on Jan. 21 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xN

Are you and your family suffering from cabin fever? Head to the Cape Nature Center for numerous family-friendly outdoor activities. You can enjoy a walk through the woods, practice animal tracking, build a shelter, taste outdoor cooking, and so much more. Here is your chance to discover what nature can offer your family during the cold winter months!

  • Tree Walk: Winter Tree ID | When: 1 – 3 p.m. on Jan. 21 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xx

Get ready to expand your skills beyond leaf identification, and discover what other features may be used to identify tree species native to our state. Test your skills and learn forestry tidbits in this fun, interactive hike.

Hike location is Ridgetop Trail behind the Cape Nature Center, so please dress accordingly. This program is limited to 20 participants for ages 8 and older.


Check out details for all of MDC’s free January events online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xf. And be on the lookout for more programs in February!

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4xf. All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. First, create a profile. Once a profile is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218.

Stay connected

Questions about events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at Laci.Prucinsky@mdc.mo.gov.

The Cape Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. An online subscription is also available to “sign up for updates” at www.mdc.mo.gov. A variety of updates are available at this option, but Cape Girardeau specific updates are available under facility updates and news for southeast region.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.