There are two times of the year that I enjoy walking in the woods — in the fall and in the spring.

The day that my wife and I visited the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in St. Louis County, the temperature was 75 and the skies were blue.

Not exactly spring, yet, according to the calendar, but close enough for us to get out of the house and enjoy this gorgeous 112-acre wildlife refuge.

I know I should be fishing on a day like this but beholding the sheer beauty of Powder Valley makes up for it.

What caught my eye immediately about this wonderful place was that there are three paved hiking trails. Did you notice that I used the word “paved”?

The 0.3-mile Tanglevine Trail is flat but the 1.2-mile Trail of Many Creeks Trail and the 0.7-mile Broken Ridge Trail both have some pretty good hills. The paving makes them easy to walk but remember to keep in mind the hills.

The Trail of Many Creeks Trail features a wildlife observation deck and a short loop in case you’re not up to the full 1.2 miles. The trails do feature benches along the way for rest stops.

On the site is a 22,000 square foot Nature Center housing enough interesting items to keep all ages of visitors occupied. There is even a 250-seat auditorium where I understand that nature films are shown on weekends.

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