June 09, 2017

Contact: Communications Office

Hug a Herp Day and evening hike planned June 17 at Prairie State Park

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 9, 2017 – The public is invited to two free events that showcase interesting aspects of the tallgrass prairie June 17 at Prairie State Park near Mindenmines. The annual Hug a Herp Day will be held from 10 3 p.m. and a hike to explore the prairie after dark will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

Hug a Herp Day activities will feature various reptiles and amphibians like snakes, turtles, frogs, toads and salamanders. The event will help dispel myths and rumors about reptiles and amphibians and visitors will be able to see and touch them. Kids will be able to make a reptile or amphibian craft to take home with them. The movie “The Snakes’ Tale” will be shown throughout the day. All activities will be held at the park's Regal Tallgrass Prairie Nature Center.

The public will also have the opportunity to experience the prairie after dark. The Prairie after Dark event will include a hike from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. as visitors experience what the prairie is like after the sun sets.

The evening hike will allow visitors to experience what the prairie is like after the sun sets. Exploring a prairie after dark is different from what can be experienced during the day, especially for those who pay attention with all their senses. Hikers may hear coyotes howling, insects buzzing and frogs calling. They may see lightning bugs putting on a visual display or notice some flowers that open up at night. The hike will be about 1.25 miles long. Insect repellent, closed-toed shoes and a small flashlight are recommended. 

Missouri State Parks is celebrating 100 years in 2017. Visitors can experience all the park system has to offer with the Centennial Passport. Visit for more information. 

Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane near Mindenmines in Barton County. For more information about the event, call the park at 417-843-6711. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.