MDC offering extreme orienteering class at Weldon Spring Conservation Area Dec. 1

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St. CHARLES, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is giving advanced back country navigators the chance to take their skills to the next level on an extreme outdoor adventure at Weldon Spring Conservation Area in St. Charles. The area borders the Missouri River and consists of over 7,000 acres of steep, forested river bluffs and deep hollows.

Orienteering: Emphasis on the Features of a Topographic Map which will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 5 p.m.   Participants will meet at August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in the main building, located at 2360 Highway D in St. Charles for an introduction, and then move to nearby Weldon Spring for the hike. A reasonable degree of physical fitness is also needed since participants will be hiking four-to-six miles through challenging and rugged terrain. This class is for those who already have a basic understanding of topographical map and compass and want to extend their knowledge further.

Participants will get the opportunity to apply map interpretation skills to actual land features on this off-trail trek. They’ll work with MDC naturalists to identify landforms from a topographical map, including valleys, saddles, waterways, and ridges. The adventure will offer the chance to discover hidden landmarks in the rugged and steep woods of Weldon Spring that everyday trail hikers rarely see, such as graveyards and remnants of settlers’ homesteads.

This program is open to those ages 18 and up, or 12-17 years of age if accompanied by an adult. It is designed for those who have a working knowledge of an orienteering compass and desire more experience with reading a map. Dressing for the weather and wearing good hiking boots is encouraged, as is bringing plenty of water, some high-energy snacks and a flashlight.

The program is free but advanced registration is required by going to