We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center
2289 County Park Dr, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
+1 573-290-5218
Improve this listing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located within Cape Girardeau's North County Park, the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is a place where families can have fun while exploring the rich cultural history and wildlife of Southeast Missouri. Admission is always free at the Nature Center because the nature center is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, a state agency supported by fishing and hunting license revenues and the statewide 1/8-of-one percent "Design for Conservation" sales tax. Inside the Nature Center, visitors will find a 160-seat auditorium, three classrooms, and hands-on exhibits for all ages, a scientific research laboratory, freshwater aquariums, and an indoor wildlife viewing area. Exhibits begin with Paul Corbin's collection of Native American artifacts including primitive tools that were used to harvest plants and animals hundreds of years ago. Interactive exhibits encourage exploration of the forest, marsh, swamp, and big river habitats of Southeast Missouri. Visitors can learn where to go in the region to experience these unique natural features and gain insight into local opportunities for camping, hunting, and fishing. Outside, "White Oak Trace" features two miles of nature trails allowing visitors to traverse rolling river hills with sinkholes, deep hollows, and ravines covered with prominent stands of poplar and oak. Native plants featured in the Nature Center's landscape provide habitat for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife species. These examples of native landscapes make the Nature Center a great place to get ideas for your own landscaping plans. The nature center also has a gift shop, with a wide variety of educational books, videos, and nature-related items. Final sales must be made by 4:30 pm.
Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We went there on a Saturday afternoon and it was not too busy. My boys loved it because they have free fishing. We actually caught a fish and had to get help because the fish swallowed the hook.
Overall a very nice place. Cool to see nature.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“kids can learn”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

My little boy enjoyed this visit. didn't take long to view thru, but it is free, taking donations of course. You can see bees come from outside of the bldg. in a clear tube and can fly inside tubes of the bldg. kinda neat to see! nature is around. kids can crawl thru a beaver dam, shoot targets on computer thing, hear animal noises, etc. not too far from Cape Splash... so you can do this before you head there!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chaffee, Missouri, United States
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Awesome time for kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

If you're looking for a fun, FREE day out with the kids in Cape Girardeau, please visit the Conservation Center. Tons of things to see and do, very hands-on, with trails in the back if your interested in a long or short hike.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Nice nature center for family”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

The nature center was a nice "find". We had car problems and time to burn while waiting for the repairs and we came across a flyer for the center. It had a nice interpretive center aimed at children but still enjoyable by adults, and a nice little pond that they allow kids to fish. It has a number of walking trails, ranging from relatively flat, to short, steep incline/declines that provided a nice workout for an older person. The staff we came in contact was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terre Haute, Indiana
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Trails End Surprise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

My husband & I were bicycling the Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail & happened upon the trails of White Oak Trace. The trails DO NOT support bicycle traffic. There is a bike rack at the trail head. We did walk our bicycles up to Farklberry Knob & Ridgetop Trail to the nature center. It is a large building that looks quite new. The exhibits were informative & focused on the connections made between swamps and the environment. Classes of school children were coming in for a field trip. That was GREAT to see.
We biked around outside on pavement to several large retention ponds that were surrounded by picnic shelters. One person was fishing off a short pier. They were adding on a sizeable children's playground that was state of the arts. There is a war memorial, too.
We only got to enjoy one trail, but the others sounded interesting: Cottonwood Crossing to Maple Hollow, Wood Duck Swamp, Tulip Poplar Hill, Paw Paw Valley, & Sinkhole Bottom. They range from 1/4 - 3/8 mile long & moderate to steep grade.
Here are the "No-No's": Pets, horses, collecting, littering, hunting, alcohol,biking, skating, jogging, motorized vehicles, walking off the trails
Nature Center Hours: Tues. - Sat. 8am - 5pm; Closed Sun./Mon. Thanksgiving & the following Friday, Christmas, New Year's Day
Area Hours: Open daily sunrise to 10pm
The entrance is free. Donations in the center are welcomed :->

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center also viewed

Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO

Been to Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.