“Enjoy a beautiful loop trail with hills at the World Bird Sanctuary.”
— Susan Stevenson
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
No dogs or pets allowed due to the birds that are housed on the property. The trail is for foot travel only. The park is open all year round, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily. Call ahead during inclement weather to make sure they are open.
What makes this trail special is that it is on the World Bird Sanctuary property. This is just one more thing to do at the WBS when getting outside. The trail is suitable for all ages and starts near the Kathryn G. Favre Wildlife Hospital. The World Bird Sanctuary rests peacefully on 305 acres of Missouri hardwood forest, next door to Lone Elk County Park and the Chubb Trail
. They feature free seasonal shows, nature trails, educational programs, and picnic pavilions. Their large outdoor avian exhibits provide housing for a variety of World Bird Sanctuary's non-releasable birds. These large enclosures allow these magnificent birds a comfortable place to live out their lives. These enclosures provide exhibit space for a variety of species. You’ll always see bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, Eurasian eagle Owls, great-horned owls, barred owls, barn owls, white pelicans, thick-billed parrots, and Sandhill cranes. During the summer you’ll also see brown pelicans, a laughing kookaburra, turkey vultures, and a black vulture.
Need to Know
There is a creek crossing in the valley but there's a wooden bridge to cross.
On the winter day I experienced this trail, it was cold and felt great to be outside moving and running. The trail was quiet and peaceful and I was the only person; I did not encounter a single other person as I made my way along the trail. The trail starts going downhill right away on switchbacks and lands in the valley where there is a bench for resting and an informational billboard.
The trail then heads back up hill with fewer switchbacks and another bench at the top for a spectacular view of the area. This time of year, with the trees barren, I could see a long ways. The trail is easily marked with little turtle placards found on trees to lead the way. At the top of the hill, the trail heads west toward Lone Elk Park Road. After a short distance, you'll come to the road where there is a pavilion and picnic table. To continue on the trail at this point, you do need to make your way on the road for a few feet before picking up the trail again.
Once out on the road, go right and you'll see where the trailhead picks up. There is not much traffic on this road but it is always a good idea to keep an eye out for cars. The trail then weaves along the side of a hill with little elevation change right back to the trailhead outside the animal hospital.
Flora & Fauna
Aside from the birds, typical native Missouri plants and animals can be found here. There is invasive honeysuckle in the area, but the WBS is working hard to eradicate it.
History & Background
This land is leased to the World Bird Sanctuary from Castlewood State Park. It is overseen by the DNR but run by the WBS, a non-profit organization.