Family Weekender: St. Louis
The Mingo National Wildlife Refuge contains 27,000 acres of bottomland forest and cypress swamp fascinatingly, once this was the bed of the Mississippi River.
Over time, the Mississippi changed course, leaving behind flooded lowlands, twisting streams and giant timber reminiscent of swamplands much further south.
Visitors may wish to paddle the twisting streams that snake between giant cypress trees, walk any or all of three hiking trails, or experience the boardwalk nature trail leading into the heart of Rockhouse Cypress Marsh.
The refuge has four observation towers offering panoramic views of the vast wetland network. Wildlife sightings may include ducks, geese, swans and wintering bald eagles. Deer are common, while mink and otters can sometimes be seen in the marsh.
For those who'd rather do their wildlife viewing from a car, the refuge offers a 25-mile auto route tour, open in April, October and November.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication