Dresser Island

2011-09-21T00:00:00Z 2013-01-21T11:52:08Z Dresser IslandBY HARRY JACKSON JR. • harry.jackson@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8234 stltoday.com

Dresser Island is well known to hunters and anglers, but it is not a common spot for hikers. The trail goes through some scenery-rich areas of wetlands — which are especially wet right now — and forests. Watch for fascinating fungi on the forest floors.

Where • From U.S. Highway 67 northwest on Missouri Highway 94. Watch for the Dresser Island sign. There's one parking lot.

How long • Officials estimate that it's a 6- to 7-mile loop.

Difficulty • It's generally easy. The Missouri Department of Conservation recently restored parts of the path damaged by high water.

Surface • Dirt and grass.

Can be used for • Hiking only. The ground is often too soft for bicycles and horses.  It's a dream for nature photographers, especially this time of year when migratory birds begin to arrive.

User notes • Dresser Island is part of the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Area, which is a series of areas set aside as way stations for migratory birds. Access is a rock bridge that crosses Brickhouse Slough. Deeper into the island, ducks, herons, egrets and forest birds can be seen. During hunting season, which just started, wear orange or red. Areas favored by hunters are far from the trail.

Pets • Dogs on leash.

Facilities • None.

Handicapped accessible • No.

More information • Managed by Columbia Bottom Conservation Area office, 314-877-6019; Upper Mississippi Conservation Area: alturl.com/x4e6o; Dresser Island video at alturl.com/akhyi .

TRAIL NOTES

Party for dogs

What • Broemmelsiek Park's large and free off-leash dog area hosts "Paws in the Park," a party for dogs.

When • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Where • 1615 Schwede Road near Wentzville.

Details • The dog area is fenced, has a large pond and will include contests, prizes, giveaways and obedience demonstrations.

How much • Free.

Off-leash rules • alturl.com/6qmsg

Tag monarch butterflies

What • Monarch butterflies soon start their migration south to Mexico. Learn to tag them for research purposes.

When • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Where • Weldon Spring Interpretive Center, 7295 Missouri Highway 94 South, west of St. Charles.

Reservations • 636-329-1438 or mdc.mo.gov/user_mailman_register.

Healthy living festival

What • "Green Homes and Great Health Festival," a fair that focuses on how it's healthful to maintain a home that doesn't harm the environment.

When • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Where • Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard.

How much • Free admission before noon; adults $8, St. Louis and St. Louis County residents, $4; free to children 12 and younger and garden members.

Extras • Featuring more than 100 green exhibitors, food, tai chi demonstrations, solar car races, health screenings and shops. Make reservations on the Siteman Cancer Center mammography van by calling 1-800-600-3606.

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