Sure, it’s cold, but you can still enjoy the outdoors

Winter has a special allure. As the temperatures drop, basking in the warm glow of candles while snuggled up with a soft blanket and a purring cat on my lap is heavenly.

Toss in a flavored hot coffee and a good book, and perfection is reached! 

However, winter is not an excuse to totally bypass the great outdoors. A winter walk has great benefits.

Besides avoiding the nuisances of fighting off mosquitos or dealing with the humidity Missouri’s summers are famous for, you can literally burn up to 34 percent more calories when hiking or walking in colder weather. 

Recently I felt sluggish after a day indoors avoiding the chill and putting way too much food into my mouth. 

So, I decided to find a new-to-me place to explore before the sun fully set. My quest led me to Audubon Trails Nature Center. 

This area is free and open to the public. It is maintained by the Ozark Rivers Chapter of the Audubon Society. 

It’s located north of I-44 in Rolla, Mo. Simply take the University Drive exit (that’s the one with a large green pedestrian bridge) and head north on White Columns Drive. Turn right on Meriweather and you will find Audubon Trails at the end of the road. 

This spot is perfect for those who appreciate nature. The 70-acre reserve can be explored on foot or by bike. I chose to walk one of the loops during my visit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

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