Take a hike with Runge Conservation Nature Center

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Lace up your hiking boots to see Missouri with the Missouri Department of Conservation. This summer, Runge Conservation Nature Center is offering two monthly programs featuring volunteer-led hikes around the state.

The programs, Hikers and Midweek Trekkers, travel to hike some of the best trails on public lands in the state. Both meet once a month— Hikers on Saturdays and Midweek Trekkers on Wednesdays.

“There are so many great benefits of hiking,” said Kevin Lohraff, nature center manager at Runge Nature Center. “This program takes you to interesting places with different plants, animals, and natural features. It can really help you gain an appreciation for our state and fulfill that sense of exploration and discovery.”

An experienced volunteer will lead each hike. This program provides a safe way to explore the outdoors and new trails with others.

The groups meet at Runge at 8 a.m., and can expect to be back at the nature center around 5 p.m. Some transportation is provided, but participants may also carpool. Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes. Bring water, lunch, and any supplies you’d use outdoors, such as insect repellent and sunscreen.

This program is free and open to adults. Registration is required and can be made by calling Runge at (573) 526-5544.

Take a summer hike with Runge on the following dates:

  • Saturday, July 15 Onondaga Cave State Park in Crawford County
    Trail length: 2.5 miles
    Terrain: moderate inclines and occasional rocks and roots
  • Wednesday, July 19 Lane Springs Recreational Area in Mark Twain National Forest in Phelps County
    Trail length: 2 miles
    Terrain: hilly terrain with rocks and roots
  • Wednesday, Aug. 16 Knob Noster State Park in Johnson County
    Trail length: 7 miles
    Terrain: moderate inclines and occasional rocks and roots
  • Saturday, Aug. 19 Echo Bluff and Current River State Parks in Shannon County
    Trail length: 2.5 miles
    Terrain: moderate inclines and occasional rocks and roots.

If you can’t make any of these programs, be sure to explore the trails at Runge Conservation Nature Center. The nature center is located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday and has exhibits, trails, and interpretive programs for all ages. For directions or more information about the nature center, call (573) 526-5544 or visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/runge-conservation-nature-center.