Nature Center Trails
Tips for the trails
Wildlife on the grounds is just that – wild.
- Don’t chase or try to catch wildlife
- If you want a closer look, please use binoculars
- Don’t feed wildlife; this includes geese
- All animals at the center, including snakes, are protected
- Collecting wildlife, leaves, plants, rocks and fossils from the grounds is prohibited without a special permit
Watch where you place your hands, feet and seat in the outdoors.
- Poison ivy isn’t the only plant that can give you a rash
- Wasps, bees and other stinging insects don’t like their nests being trampled
Remember, you are sharing the trails with other visitors and the animals that live here.
Walk quietly – stomping or shuffling your feet will scare animals before you get the chance to see them.
Don't forget drinking water and insect repellant.
Please help keep your trails free of litter.
Animals appreciate you not smoking on trails.
Beaver Creek Trail, 0.25 miles
This boardwalk skirts the edge of a braided stream. Signs of beavers often can be seen along the bank. Many wetland plants such as rose mallow thrive here.
Field and Forest Trail, 0.5 miles
Hike through remnants of farm fields and young oak-hickory forests. Watch for a variety of birds and look carefully for the rain lily that blooms after rains in September and October.
North Boundary Trail, 1.1 miles
A small creek crosses this scenic path during wet periods. The trail also enters a dry, upland region along the nature center’s boundary. Deer and many bird species may be found here year-round. Listen closely for snorting deer. The trail leads hikers to a road. Return on the road or the trail.
Oak Savannah Trail, 0.5 miles
Oak savannahs were once a common feature throughout the Ozarks. Prescribed fires have slowly returned some of the forests to this more open landscape with a few large oaks in a grass and shrub understory. Look carefully for an indigo bunting nest in the shrubs.
Upland Trail, 0.5 miles
A spur of the Oak Savannah Trail cuts through a shortleaf pine forest. Little bluestem is common, and look for evidence of coyote and deer.
Wells Lake Trail, 0.5 miles
Follow the edge of Wells Lake on a paved path that’s ADA-compliant. Watch for great blue herons fishing along the shore – bring your fishing rod and join them. Canada geese are year-round residents.