Wildcat Glades Offers Free Family Outdoor Fun
Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Joplin, Missouri invites the whole family to enjoy nature with accessible trails and programming.
A joint venue of the Missouri Department of Conservation and the City of Joplin, the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center preserves Ozark beauty and wildlife for the entire family.
Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center is located in south Joplin off of Highway 86, just south of Interstate 44. Enjoy trails, programming, and birdwatching as a break from the interstate or a local outing.
Trails at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center
Joplin’s Audubon Center offers a series of short, clear trails for family walks. Picnic tables and benches line the trails, many of which are paved to accommodate visitors.
The Wildcat Glades’ longest trail, the St. John’s Creek Trail, runs south from the Audubon Center. This trail is only an eighth of a mile, two miles at most if one takes the Woodland Loop Trail.
The St. John’s Creek Trail offers a stunning view of cliffs above the Shoal Creek to the west, and a wall of caves and small rock upcroppings to the east until the Woodland Loop portion, where the walk includes a view of an old abandoned mill sunken into the creek, then moves upland to denser cover and a more rigorous walk into the hills above the creek bed.
For a picnic or shorter walk, the Metro Trail runs north along Shoal Creek from the Audubon Center for a sixth of a mile. This paved trail is lined with picnic tables, trees shading the creek, rock croppings, and a flock of friendly ducks to delight children. Parking along this trail is easily accessible to accommodate family members who may be unable to walk long distances.
Programming at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center
Joplin’s Audubon Center offers a variety of programming for the entire family. The Center itself hosts a child-friendly exhibit of Missouri wildlife, including native animals, statues to climb on, and views of the surrounding woodland from a clear glass wall.
For adults, the Center provides friendly and informed staff to answer questions about the Center and its resources, a gift shop, and an office of the Missouri Department of Conservation to offer resources about Missouri wildlife and conservation.
The Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center also holds year-round nature programming for all ages. Activities include nature movies, cave tours, an adopted animal program, conservation classes, and nature yoga. See the Center’s website for a complete listing. Programs are offered to the public at a low cost due to the generosity of donors.
Birdwatching at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center
In addition to preserving birds’ habitat and making it accessible to bird enthusiasts, Joplin’s Audubon Center offers guided bird watching tours, classes, and group networking for bird enthusiasts keen to learn more about Missouri’s feathered friends.
The Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center makes nature accessible to the entire family. Enjoy a spring stroll, picnic, or class with the birds in Joplin at the Audubon Center.