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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Shoal Creek Cave and the Wildcat Glade Nature Center

In April we took a family trip to southern Missouri and Arkansas.  Since we left after work on a Friday, we stopped north of Joplin to camp for the night at one of the Missouri Conservation Areas.  We picked up in the morning and drove in to Joplin.  Our first stop was the Wildcat Glade Nature Center.  We took a short hike along Shoal Creek to Shoal Creek Cave.  The cave is gated, so there is no access to it.  The sign out front said it only goes in about 150 feet or so, and was mined for lead at one point.  It would have been fun to crawl in, but that's how gated caves go sometimes. 
Back at the Nature Center, we looked around at their exhibits and displays.  The aquarium was an enjoyable stop, as were the exhibits on songbirds, frogs, and furbearers.  Wildcat Glade is one of the few remaining flint glades left in the world.  There's only about 60 acres that are actually the flint glade at the nature center, but there's a small pond and several miles of walking trails. 
We enjoyed walking along Shoal Creek.  Southern Missouri is beautiful!  Shoal Creek looks like a great spot to go canoeing, in fact the nature center sponsors a canoeing basics float down the creek, as well as a creek cleanup periodically.  The Wildcat Glade Nature Center is a great stop for kids and families in the Joplin area. 

Nearest City: Joplin, MO
Location: N° W°
Time Needed: 2 hours
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly: yes
Additional Info: Wildcat Glade Website

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