Hours & Admission

Welcome Back

The Nature Reserve reopens June 16, 2020. Missouri Botanical Garden members may enjoy a special preview week June 9-15. 

The health and safety of staff and visitors is the primary concern for Shaw Nature Reserve. Under guidance from the CDC and local health departments, we are reopening while still taking into account social distancing and safety precautions, including the requirement of dated and timed tickets for entry. All admission reservations/purchases must be made in advance. 

Learn more and reserve or purchase your dated/timed admission here


2020 Hours:
Open 7 days a week 

January 1 – March 7: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March 8 – March 31: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April 1 – August 31: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

September 1 - 30: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

October 1 - 31: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

November 1 - December 31: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Last entry into Shaw Nature Reserve is 30 minutes prior to posted closing time.

Thanksgiving Day Hours: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Christmas Eve Hours: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Closed Christmas Day

Bascom House:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Shaw Nature Reserve offers 17-miles of a trail network where you can experience the natural beauty of diverse wetlands, prairies, woodlands and glades, and the free-flowing Meramec River.

When driving please maintain speeds below 15 mph as a courtesy to visitors and wildlife. This will provide a safer and more enjoyable experience for pedestrians and cyclists by minimizing road noise and dust.

Please check our main webpage for notification of closure due to weather.


  • $5 adults
  • $3 seniors (65 and older)
  • Free Garden members and children (12 and younger)    Become a member

Special admission charges may apply for some events.


Wheelchair Accessibility:

The Bascom House is wheelchair accessible, as are the restrooms in the house. The Whitmire Wildflower Garden is also wheelchair accessible; however, in addition to paved paths, some of the paths in the garden are of wood chips and therefore more difficult to negotiate in a wheelchair.

The Wetland Trail is ADA approved. The wetland trail parking lot at the bus stop is accessible by car.

The glade overlook (in the vicinity of the Trail House) is down a 50-yard path of finely crushed gravel. The parking lot for the glade overlook is accessible by car. 

Shaw Nature Reserve has a heavy-duty wheelchair available for visitors to use at no cost. When you register at the Visitor Center upon your arrival, we will arrange for you to get a wheelchair. 

Stroller Accessibility:

The larger and thicker the tires of a stroller, the smoother the ride on Shaw Nature Reserve's paths. The Whitmire Wildflower Garden and the Bascom House are easily managed with all types of strollers, but we recommend large tires on hiking trails. Most hikers choose to use a backpack carrier for uneven hiking trails.

Shaw Nature Reserve Trail Map

Contact Information

If you have questions about Shaw Nature Reserve, please call the Visitor Center at (314) 577- 9555 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Shaw Nature Reserve
P.O. Box 38
Gray Summit, MO 63039

For general Shaw Nature Reserve Questions by email

For technical assistance, e-mail webhelp@mobot.org



  • Please leave flowers and plants for everyone to enjoy. Do not collect or remove seeds, flowers, fruits and vegetables, plant labels, etc.
  • Please stay on trails.


  • No fires.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • Picnicking is allowed at the designated table areas only.


  • Bicycles permitted on service roads only.


  • No pets allowed, please. Assistance animals are welcome at Shaw Nature Reserve. Please review these guidelines to help you enjoy your visit with your assistance animal.
  • Do not feed or handle the wildlife. It can be harmful to them—and you.
  • No hunting or fishing.


  • Shaw Nature Reserve is a tobacco-free environment. Smoking and tobacco products and devices are not allowed on Shaw Nature Reserve property, including all buildings, grounds, restrooms and parking lots.
  • We care about the environment. Please dispose of waste in recycle bins when appropriate. Do not litter.


  • All must abide by the rules and guidelines outlined in the Policies and Guidelines for Photography at Shaw Nature Reserve. 
  • Wedding parties must complete and turn in the Wedding Photograph  permit at the Visitors Center prior to coming.
  • Prom, homecoming, any social event must follow our photography policies.


  • Do not wade or swim in ponds, streams or the Meramec River.
  • Please keep your personal items with you at all times. Shaw Nature Reserve cannot be held responsible for missing items. If you recover an item on the grounds that does not belong to you, please turn it in to the Visitor's Center.
  • For their safety, please supervise children at all times. One adult should accompany every two children.
  • No climbing trees unless part of a class.
  • No firearms.

Solicitation Policy

Shaw Nature Reserve values the visitor experience. In order to provide a distraction-free environment for our guests, we do not allow solicitation or petitioning of any kind from any outside, non-sanctioned entity on Shaw Nature Reserve property, regardless of the organization or cause being represented. This includes, but is not limited to, the circulation or distribution of literature, brochures, handbills, flyers, leaflets, signage, pamphlets, notices, cards, advertising, promotional items, petitions, registrations, etc. Informational tables and booths are not permitted unless authorization is given by Shaw Nature Reserve.

Shaw Nature Reserve property includes the grounds, buildings, parking lots and other facilities. Anyone not in compliance with this policy will be asked to leave the premises.

The rights of other visitors to enjoy Shaw Nature Reserve must always be respected. Shaw Nature Reserve reserves the right to ask a visitor to leave for inappropriate or offensive behavior. Visitors will be held liable for any damage to Shaw Nature Reserve property.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.