Guided hikes offered at National Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff will lead three guided hikes to the top of Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge in May. The public hikes will be held on Saturday May 18, and Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Hikes will take place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 18, and 9 a.m. on May 22. Hike participants will meet at Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site.

During the hike, staff and volunteers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will discuss how past mining has created critical habitat for endangered Indiana and Northern Long Ear bats. This important refuge with its unique geology and mining history provided hibernation habitat that continues today. Space is limited; participants must 

pre-register to reserve their spot for the hike by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge at 573-222-3589.  Hikers will walk up steep terrain with loose rock and uneven footing.  Participants must be physically able to make this hike.  Details on schedule and meeting location will be provided to registered participants.

Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge is located in Arcadia Valley near the junction of Missouri Route 21 and Missouri Highway W.  Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the staff at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.  For more information about the refuge, contact 573-222-3589 or email the refuge at mingo@fws.gov. Visit the refuge’s website at www.fws.gov/refuge/pilot_knob for refuge updates.

Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1987.  This 90-acre refuge located at the top of Pilot Knob Mountain was a donation from the Pilot Knob Ore Company.   After being heavily mined in the 1800s, the iron mine shafts became less active with miners and more active with a different critter….Bats!  Upon establishment of the refuge, the mission became to protect the important hibernation sites in the abandoned mine shafts for the federally-endangered Indiana bat and other bat species. To avoid risk of disturbing the refuge environment and of spreading diseases to bats, the refuge is typically closed to all public access.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants.

Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903, the System has grown to more than 850 million acres, 566 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts.

For more information on Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, visit our websites https://www.fws.gov/refuge/pilot_knob/ or www.fws.gov.