Sept. 24 MDC virtual program to focus on hiking

News from the region
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JOPLIN, Mo. – Hiking gives families great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, get exercise, and to enjoy fresh air at any time of the year, but hiking in the fall is particularly enjoyable.

If you’re hoping to enjoy this fall by exploring new trails, be sure to sign up for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) virtual program “Families: Hiking Basics.” This free online program will be from 6-7 p.m. on Sept. 24 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin. This program is open to all ages, but recommended for ages 5 and up. People can register at:

At this online program, MDC Naturalist Jessie Ballard will cover the basics of how to make your next nature walk or long hike a success. She will discuss how to find trails near you, how to find out what you can see on those trails, and how to ensure that family members of all ages will enjoy their outdoor treks.

Though the Sept. 24 program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Program registrants should note that they now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own, which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children for an event without having to log-off or log-in for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members for an event at the same time.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual and in-person programs. A listing of these programs can be found at