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The Byron Shutz Trail System

Two footpath trails are available for our visitors. Take a 1-mile or 3.25-mile hike through the wild side of Powell Gardens.

Hikers will wind past lotus-filled ponds, through woods of Osage orange and honeylocust and into a field of meadow flowers. Return hikers will be rewarded with a different experience in each season. The trails offer slight inclines and some rocky terrain but is easily traversed by hikers with moderate experience. Novice hikers should review their fitness level and the trail length before beginning a hike.  

 The expanded trail was made possible thanks to a generous donation from Marilyn T. and Byron C. Shutz and the Shutz Foundation. 


The Byron Shutz Trail System allows visitors to experience nature, off-grid. Protecting this natural heritage experience and the habitat of many species which depend on this natural area is a conservation priority at Powell Gardens. Currently, efforts are focused on restoring ecological communities and improving the hiker experience, by upgrading interpretation and wayfinding. Conservation initiatives now and in the future will center on sustainable stewardship of the landscape for generations of Powell Gardens’ visitors.

Ecological Restoration 

 The landscape of the Byron Shutz Trail System supports representations of some of the natural communities in Missouri. Natural communities at Powell Gardens such as prairies, woodlands, forest, and wetlands, reflect the landscape of our region and supports the Midwest Spirit of Place. Today, in many cases, ecological restoration must occur to protect the plants and animals within natural communities. Ecological restoration, returning processes, such as fire and grazing along with balancing invasive species to uphold diversity, supports the living landscape.  

Along the Byron Shutz Trail, ecological restoration is focused on preserving remnant tallgrass prairie communities. Active restoration actions include managing woody encroachment and introducing fire back to the landscape. Restoration of these old-growth grasslands is occurring with the assistance of volunteers and partners. 

To learn more about how you can volunteer to support restoration projects please visit 

American lotus, Nelumbo lutea, can be viewed along both trails of the Byron Shutz Trail System. 

Visitors to the Prairie Ridge Trail will experience the beauty and wonder of remnant tallgrass prairies. 

Photo point monitoring surveys are taking place to observe the response of our prairie communities to ecological restoration over time. This baseline image is valuable to track the progress of our efforts. 

Byron Shutz Hiking and Nature Trails

What to Know Before You Go

  • Know your capabilities.
  • Make sure to allow enough time to complete the trail before the Gardens close.
  • Minimize your exposure to insects: tuck your pant legs into your socks, spray insect repellent around your ankles.
  • Learn to recognize poison ivy and avoid contact.
  • Take water with you.
  • Stay on the trail!
  • Be aware we are in the range for copperheads and timber rattlers, although none have been identified on the property. You may encounter a variety of non-venomous snakes.
  • The trail is closed during deer season (November through January) for your safety.

Trail Map

Additional Trail Resources