Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

11715 Cragwold Road
Kirkwood, MO


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.

Powder Valley 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.


Visiting Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Visiting Hours
DST Hours: 8 am - 8 pm daily
CST Hours: 8 am - 6 pm daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Visitor Center Hours
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.


Use the official site of Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center to find the answers to the questions about Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center that you may have.

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