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Camping and Hiking in Black Bear Country

Learn how to Be Bear Aware while camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing to stay safe, and to keep bears wild. Follow these tips to fully enjoy your outdoor experience in Missouri.

Don't Move Firewood

Many tree-killing pests travel in firewood. If you love Missouri’s forests, buy firewood where you camp, and burn it all before you leave.

Make Your Camp Firewise

Hunters and campers can follow a few easy precautions to protect lives, property and our precious forests.

Camping Events

Location: Burr Oak Woods Nature Center
Date: Oct 08, 2016 12:30 pm - Oct 08, 2016 03:30 pm

Required Orientation
October 8 · Saturday · 12:30-3:30 PM
Registration required beginning Sept 1 by calling 816-228-3766(women and girls 14-17 when accompanied by an adult women participant) This orientation is a prerequisite to attend the Intermediate Backpacking Trip on Oct. 15 & 16, 2016. Participants must attend and complete a test hike which includes a one-hour backpack hike up and down small hills on a natural trail. You may check out equipment if needed. First come, first served. Learn what to bring and what to expect.
Intermediate Backpacking Trip
October 15 & 16 · Saturday & Sunday · 7 AM-6 PM
Orientation attendance and completion of test hike required
Embark on an amazing journey to a land of dolomite glades, rock bridges, karst and sinkholes…also known as the Missouri Ozarks. We will hike a seven mile backpack loop that is rated as moderate in difficulty. This trip involves carrying a 30 lb. backpack up and down hills across rocky terrain.

Reserve by Sep 30, 2016
Location: Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center in Forest Park
Date: Oct 14, 2016 10:00 am - Oct 14, 2016 02:00 pm

Youth Orienteering & Geocaching
October 14 • Friday • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
(Ages 10 - 14)
Old school meets technology today as we introduce you to orienteering. We’ll start by learning to navigate through the park with map and compass. Students will then set their own course for others to follow. After taking a break for lunch we will pursue Geocaching. In a world of smartphones, GPS is used to get us almost anyplace we want to be. Learn to “cache” as we make and hide our own geocache. Technology can definitely take us almost anywhere, yet you might find that old school methods are sometimes the most reliable. Participants should bring a sack lunch, water bottle and dress to be outdoors for the day. Completed release/waiver must be received before participating. (Reservations begin September 23 by calling Columbia Bottom Conservation Area at 314-877-6014.)

Reserve by Oct 14, 2016
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Date: Oct 18, 2016 06:00 pm - Oct 18, 2016 07:30 pm

Registration required (Scouts) Scout leaders, are you lacking expertise or equipment to complete conservation badges? Bring your troop to the Discovery Center and education staff will provide a program to help Scouts with rank achievement. All Missouri Scout groups of 10-24 participants are welcome to schedule a free program. Please contact Steve Jacobsen at 816-759-7305 ext. 1146 or to learn more about how we can help and to schedule a program.

Reserve by Oct 17, 2016
Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center
Date: Oct 25, 2016 06:30 pm - Oct 25, 2016 08:00 pm

October 25 & November 1 · Tuesday · 6:30–8 PM (pre-trip training)
November 5–6 · Saturday–Sunday · All Day (backpacking trip)
Registration required by calling 816-759-7300 (adults)Backpacking is an outdoor skill that allows you to experience the beauty and peace of nature. The Discovery Center staff will be offering an introduction to backpacking program that will teach you the skills needed to backpack, what is needed and how to pack. There will be two required pre-trip programs followed by a weekend backpacking trip where you will experience the colors of fall from the trail.

Reserve by Oct 24, 2016