The excitement of the first snowfall of winter might entice you to bundle up for a walk through powdery surroundings with wide-eyed wonder. Or maybe you’d rather admire the frosty landscape from the warm comfort of your car. Either way, Missouri offers plenty of places to take in scenic winter beauty. Here are a few suggestions:
Lone Elk Park in St. Louis
If you’re looking to spot wildlife, Lone Elk Park is the place to be. Bison, elk and deer roam the area year-round, but they look particularly beautiful against a snowy background. Keep in mind, staff feed the animals first thing in the morning, so get to the park before 8 a.m. for the best chance to see the wildlife.
Peck Ranch Conservation Area in Fremont
Take in the view of forested hills and hollows at the 23,763-acre Peck Ranch and Conservation Area. Rogers Creek and Mill Creek cut through the property as they flow toward the Current River. Birds of many species, white-tailed deer and Missouri’s wild elk call the area home. See it all on a driving tour through the park.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park in Lampe
Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Ozarks with towering bluffs, waterfalls and wildlife around every corner. Book a private wildlife tour with a knowledgeable guide and travel into the heart of Dogwood Canyon. Or, try a wildlife tram tour for a two-hour narrated trip through park.
Forest Parkin St. Louis
For a nature retreat in the middle of the city, head to Forest Park. Discover waterfalls, lakes, forests, savannas and gardens throughout the area. The Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center and James S. McDonnell Planetarium and the Saint Louis Zoo are also located inside the park.
Swope Park in Kansas City
Experience one of the largest municipal parks in the United States at Kansas City’s Swope Park. Community gardens, woodlands and grassy meadows provide scenic variety as you drive through the area. Missouri’s largest native species rehabilitation center, The Lakeside Nature Center, is also located in the park.
Sugar Camp National Forest Scenic Byway near Cassville
This 28-mile route winds through hills and valleys covered with red cedar, pine and hardwood trees. Vistas give you a glimpse of distant rolling hills. Along the way, two picnic locations offer a place to stop, stretch your legs and soak in the scenery.
Silver Mines Recreation Area in Fredericktown
Previously a historic mining operation, Silver Mines Recreation Area has abundant amounts of granite and felsite – a fine-grained volcanic rock. The St. Francis River – Missouri’s only “white water” river – runs along the recreation area. Nestled in the Mark Twain National Forest, the park offers the opportunity to uncover a variety of geologic and historic wonders.