MDC offers free guided fall foliage hike Oct. 19 in Gladstone

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – The Maple Woods Natural Area in Gladstone turns crimson and gold in October. A remnant forest with abundant maple, oak, and hickory trees, the hilly area is an autumn oasis. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a free guided hike at Maple Woods from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

“In the Northland, there is a hidden gem called Maple Woods,” said Kathleen Savaiano, an MDC conservation educator who will lead the hike. “Maple Woods is a mature maple and oak forest with an understory of pawpaws.”

MDC owns the natural area and leases it to the city of Gladstone. Maple Woods became one of MDC’s first urban natural areas in 1978, shortly after Missouri voters first approved a sales tax that broadened conservation services throughout the state. The acquisition followed efforts by the local community and The Nature Conservancy to preserve the colorful maple-laced forest.

The hike will be on a one-mile trail through the area. The trail is considered moderately difficult, there are uphill and downhill trail segments. Maple Woods is in an area of rolling hills in Clay County bordering the Shoal Creek valley.

This hike is for participants age 12 and older. COVID-19 precautions will be followed. Registration is required. To register, visit

For more information about Maple Woods Natural Area, visit