“A beautiful loop teeming with flora, fauna, and water features. A great place to escape the city and get into nature.
— Missouri Hiker
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Otherwise known as the MDC Nature Center Trails. This is a beautiful, well-marked trail system teeming with flora and fauna. A number of very nice bridges take you across the James River, and numerous creeks and streams.
Great for trail runs.
We began at the Savanah Ridge Trail entrance and followed the Long Trail
directions. The trail winds down and around, through canopies of trees, next to streams, and across boardwalks through water features. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you'll most certainly see a number of deer and squirrels, and possibly other small woodland creatures. As mentioned earlier, you'll take bridges across the James River and various creeks and streams. As you begin to head back up toward the nature center, you'll occasionally use some small steps created out of the natural rock in the area.
This area is excellent for running, backpack conditioning, getting the kids out of the house, or just to get yourself away for nature walks/hikes/runs. It's listed in some places as 'moderate' but, this rating would be directed more for the beginner or toward those who rarely get outdoors and 'suddenly decide' they want to take a walk in the woods. I would lean toward an 'easy' rating for those who regularly engage in running, or those who regularly participate in other outdoor activities requiring any amount of physical exertion.
Flora & Fauna
Mainly deer, squirrel, and birds. There is a possibility for other woodland wildlife. Lots of trees and seasonal wildflowers.
History & Background
Check out the MDC Nature Center for educational offerings and conferences at the trailhead.