Bring friends and family out for a brisk hike this January.

Even though it is cold, getting out can be a rewarding activity, especially while looking for raptors along our River Trail or by visiting our gravel bar on the Meramec River. It is easier to spot nests now that most trees have lost their leaves.

You can see squirrel nests, owl nests, hawk nests and eagle nests here. We have seen squirrels and eagles use sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) for their nests, and the red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) has nested in oaks.

Bring your camera along and share the photos that you have captured on our Facebook page for all to enjoy.

Fish have slowed down in the river and, much like the land dwelling animals, they find a warm pocket or hole to stay in and reduce activity. An inversion, where the cold water moves to the surface and warm water sinks to the bottom, takes place in the river in fall, which triggers fish to head to the bottom of the river for warmth.

There can be lots of activity at the surface if river otters (lontra canadensis) are out and about. Check out our trail cam video of a river otter at

You can help keep our rivers beautiful by participating in Stream Team, where volunteers yearly remove debris.

Remember that the three-mile loop road is closed for the winter, but you can still park at the Visitor Center, Bascom House or Pinetum Lake and hike around the Reserve. Call the Visitor Center to find out what other roads might be closed due to weather conditions.

Featured Events

Saturday, Jan. 13 — Shaw Photography Series: Storytelling — How to Create Beautiful and Compelling Photo Slideshows (date has changed from printed catalog).

Tuesdays, Jan. 16, 23 or 30 — Exploring and Drawing Backyard Birds.

Sunday, Jan. 28 — Tips and Tricks to Backyard Maple Syrup.

Coming Soon

Saturday, Feb. 3, or Saturday, Feb. 17 — Think About Tables Workshop.

Saturday, Feb. 24 — Shaw Photography Series: Traveling With Your Camera.