Missouri is called the “Show Me State” for a reason. Home to a broad spectrum of flora and fauna, river bluffs and valleys, and abundant wildlife, the great outdoors is a wonderful way to get to know this beautiful place. Walking and hiking, nature and wildlife, botanical gardens and state parks… Here are the 5 best outdoor things to do in Missouri, right outside our back door in Hermann.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, Hermann Hill boutique hotel is the ideal place to start your adventure. Book your stay in one of our Vineyard Inn Suites or River Bluff Cottages, each with their own scenic view and private patio or balcony, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
#1 – Walk a Nature Trail
There are two nature trails to trek during your stay on the Hill: our 3-Mile Walk and The Katy Trail.
Beginning at the Inn, our very own 3-Mile Walk winds through a pretty wooded section full of tall trees, and then into Hermann’s charming streets and alleys, offering a glimpse of this historic town. The walk typically takes about an hour unless you want to incorporate dining, shopping or wine tasting while you’re in town. Upon completion when you return to the Inn, we’ll reward you with a complimentary t-shirt.
The Katy Trail
A former railroad track, this impressive 230-mile long trail is a favorite for walking, biking, and horseback riding. During your stay, we’re happy to transport you and your bikes to and from The Katy Trail. Whether you want to exercise or just enjoy the outdoors, the fresh air and scenery will be equally rewarding as you encounter rolling prairies, charming farmland, and dense forests – perfect for picture-taking along the way.
#2 – Explore a Conservation Area
Daniel Boone Conservation Area
Named after the great pioneer, the Daniel Boone Conservation Area is a beautiful place to hike and enjoy nature. The 6.8-mile multi-use trail was designed for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Surrounded by valleys, woodlands, savannas, glades, and hills, you’ll be transported to a state of peace and calm as you listen to the songbirds, see wildlife scurrying about, and breathe in the scent of nature in her wild state.
Grand Bluffs Conservation Area
Located just north of the Katy Trail in southern Montgomery County, the Grand Bluffs Conservation Area boasts 236-acres of dolomite bluffs, Missouri River views, Synthiana Creek, and diverse flora. There are plenty of hiking, birdwatching, and photo-taking opportunities.
Little Lost Creek Conservation Area
Little Lost Creek Conservation Area contains 2,899 acres of forest, woodlands, and glades, as well as a clear rippling stream with bright colored Ozark fish species. As you explore this nature-lovers paradise, you’ll encounter intermittent waterfalls, numerous fern species, native grasses, and woodland wildlife. Listen for the sounds of the Pileated woodpecker and migrating songbirds. Rich in Native American history, Daniel Boone’s homestead is just a few miles southeast of Little Lost Creek, so it’s also quite likely that he would have also hunted game here.
#3 – Visit a State Park
Graham Cave State Park
Take a walk through ancient history at Graham Cave State Park. Artifacts dating back 8,000-10,000 years have been discovered here. Encompassing 386 scenic acres, this is a prime hiking location. You can also enjoy birdwatching, fishing, boating, and picnicking. Be sure to visit the Graham Cave and nearby interpretive exhibits describing the area’s ancient inhabitants.
Frank, Emma Elizabeth and Edna Reifsnider State Forest
Reifsnider State Forest is a wonderful spot for a leisurely picnic with family or friends. Work up an appetite on the moderately challenging 1.3-mile Lizard Rock Trail where you’ll appreciate scenic views of the creek and ridge. For more adventure, follow one of the area’s access trails or simply hike off trail. The park also offers fishing, small boating, and kayaking at one of two ponds.
#4 – Stroll Through a Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden
The beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden is sure to please. First, stroll through Climatron, a Geodesic Dome Conservatory with no interior support floor to ceiling 70 feet up in the center. Light and space fill the dome allowing ample space for tropical rainforest plants. The dense forest canopy of green foliage, sparkling waterfalls, exotic fish, and rocky cliffs will transport you to a different land seemingly far, far away. Next, head to the 14-acre Japanese Garden with picturesque plantings, waterfalls, beaches and islands. One of the largest Japanese Gardens in North America, you’ll love the Flowering Cherries, Azaleas & Rhododendrons, Lotus, and Peonies
Finally, walk over to the historic Linnean House, the oldest continuously operated public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. Originally built as an orangery in 1882 to overwinter citrus trees, palms and tree ferns, today, you can explore the orangery in the southern half of the greenhouse, dozens of camellia trees in the northern section, which have been cultivated for at least two thousand years for their economic value, namely tea in Asia.
Mezzo Botanic Garden (University of Missouri)
This unique garden located on the University of Missouri’s campus is a must-see. Meander through the Tree Trails, past various gardens, through McAlester Park, and along the Wildlife Pond. There’s so much to see and do, including the Recreation Trail where you can hike and bike.
Interestingly, Shelter Gardens is part of Shelter Insurance’s corporate office, but well worth the visit. Visitors can explore five acres of gardens that feature 300 varieties of trees and shrubs and over 15,000 annuals and perennials. Visit any time from 8am and dusk to relax, picnic, or stroll.
Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden
If you love trees, plants, and flowers, then plan to spend a few hours at Powell Gardens. There are many different types of gardens to explore, each for its own type of plant life, including the Fountain Garden, Memorial Garden, Perennial Garden, Island Garden, Woodland & Stream Garden, and Harvest Garden.
#5 – Go on a Zipline Adventure
Eco Adventure Ziplines
If you’re looking for a more adventurous activity in the great outdoors, then sign up for a zipline tour at Eco Adventure. Their Treetop Flyer Zipline Adventure tour takes about 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours and is available mid-March through mid-November. There are 10 zip lines that zip you over the trees offering amazing scenery. First timers can start off with the Soaring Six Zipline Adventure. This 50 foot, six-line, 2,000-foot zipline tour offers a milder tour with just as much beauty.
Take advantage of these 5 best outdoor things to do in Missouri with a stay at Hermann Hill. Our staff are available from sunrise to sunset to answer questions, meet your needs, and exceed your expectations.