MDC offers advanced orienteering class at Weldon Spring Conservation Area

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Saint Louis
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St. Charles, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is giving advanced hikers the chance to take their skills to the next level on an 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 will be held Saturday, Feb. 20, from noon to 5 p.m. The program is free but advanced registration is required. 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. For reservations or more information, call MDC St. Louis Regional Office at 636-441-4554.

Weldon Spring Conservation Area is located in St. Charles County on Highway 94 approximately 2 miles south of I-64.

Orienteering: Emphasis on the Features of a Topographic Map is 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