MDC’s Cape Nature Center’s October programs include canoeing at Tywappity Lake, deer hunting for beginners and night hike on Pawpaw Valley Trail

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host its featured event for this month – canoeing at Tywappity Community Lake – alongside a full schedule of other nature programs in October. Advanced registration is encouraged by Cape Nature Center so participants are able to familiarize themselves with MDC’s event website for the center at

Canoeing at Tywappity Community Lake is an opportunity for families to join MDC for a peaceful paddle on the lake. This is an unguided experience, but canoe safety instruction will be provided as well as MDC staff to monitor safety on the water.

Please meet at the boat ramp on Tywappity Lake just outside Chaffee. Sessions will last 1.5 hours. Boats are required to have one participant over the age of 16, and a maximum of three people per boat. If your family wishes to borrow two boats, please register two participants to insure your spot.

“This is an amazing time to be out on the water; autumn should be approaching its full magnificence,” said MDC naturalist Alex Holmes. “We often think of canoeing as a summer activity. But with deer and other wildlife in their furious preparations for hard winter months ahead, they often become most visible as the thermometer drops.”

Holmes said he expects participants to witness “countless species of birds,” including ducks and geese on their migrations, deer drinking at the water’s edge, and “turtles grabbing those last few rays of warm sunlight.”

Masks are required for instruction period but are not required during time on the water. Only register one person per boat borrowed. Life jackets, paddles, and canoes will be provided. This event is for all ages. Registration ends two hours before program begins.

Other October events and programs include:

For all in-person events, participants are asked to observe social distancing and for anyone over the age of 9 to wear a face covering.

Nature center guests are encouraged to register online at The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile, then signing up for future programs is simple. Once someone creates a profile and registers for an event, they will receive details about programs they’ve registered for.

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

Find information about age specific monthly programs, such as Little Acorns, Babes in the Woods and Conservation Kids, as well as other programs at

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