Powder Valley Conservation Nature
Center is a 112-acre oasis of an oak and hickory forest in the St. Louis
suburb of Kirkwood. Local lore says that Union forces stored blasting powder
to blow the bridge across the Meramec River in Fenton in case it was in
danger of being crossed and prevent an attack on St. Louis and Jefferson
Barracks by the Confederate forces led by Sterling Price. During World War
I, Dupont de Nemours manufactured and stored explosives on the site.
In 1986 the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased the area
and after five years of planning and construction the conservation area was
opened to the public.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center offers three paved trails with a
combined length of a little over two miles. The 0.3-mile flat Tanglevine
Trail is fully accessible and signage interpreting various aspects of the
natural aspects of the area. The 1.2-mile Trail of Many Creeks begins with a
foot bridge high above the road leading into the park and features a
wildlife observation deck and a short loop for less ambitious hikers.
The 0.7 mile Broken Ridge Trail goes up and down hills as it travels
through the oak and hickory forest that covers Powder Valley.
Each trail each starts at the Nature
Center parking lot.
Conservation Nature Center has an outstanding indoor interpretive
center. The nature center has 2 levels of exhibits related to backyard
wildlife and conservation practices in urban areas. Features include a
wildlife viewing area for observing songbirds, wild turkeys and small
mammals, and a 3,000 gallon freshwater aquarium filled with various
native Missouri fish such as bass, bluegill and catfish. Visitors can
pick up an interpretive brochure at the reception desk and follow the “Trackways”
exhibit, which consists of various animal tracks recreated as they would
appear in the wild. The "St. Louis: Founded With Wildlife" exhibit
demonstrates the role of wildlife trade in the development of St. Louis.
The children’s Discovery Room offers puzzles, games and exhibits to
explain nature to children. A two-story "tree factory" explains basic
tree structure and how trees manufacture food. A hit with most children
are the live amphibians and reptiles, and the real live bees in a hive.
Children’s activity sheets are available at the reception desk. Some
exhibits are seasonal and change throughout the year. Movies are shown
most weekends in the 250 seat auditorium and the fish in fed at 1 pm on
Sundays. A library in the center has books on nature and the geology of
the area and is open for public use. The gift shop sells MDC produced
publications, and educational gift items, as well as licenses.
Valley Conservation Nature Center
DST Hours: 8 am -
8 pm daily
8 am -
6 pm daily
Christmas, and New Year's Day
Tuesday - Saturday: 8 am - 5 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
There is no charge to visit to visit the Powder
Valley Conservation Nature Center.
Sorry, No Pets Allowed. It's
not that the Department is against pets, it's just that they
can disrupt the flow of wildlife and the primary mission of
certain Conservation facilities is nature study. Pets can
harass or harm wildlife and destroy habitat and not everyone
is comfortable sharing trails with pets, and noise and
droppings can also be problems.
Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located in Kirkwood, MO
southwest of St. Louis near I-44. From the I-44 Lindbergh (US-67) exit take
Lindbergh south a half mile to Watson Road. Take Watson Road west a half
mile to Geyer Road. Take Geyer Road north across the I-44 overpass and
Cragwold Road will be the first left. Follow Cragwold Road about 1 mile to
the Nature Center which will be on the right.
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.
Powder Valley Conservation Area
- Use the official site of the Powder Valley Conservation Area
for answers to all
the questions you may have.