Visitor Center

Everyone is invited to visit Shaw Nature Reserve!  

Visitors may come as individuals, families, with friends or as part of group tour.  No reservations are required except in the case of an organized tour and for those wishing to participate in an education program.

We ask that all visitors stop to register at the Visitor Center, located at the entrance.  First time visitors will receive a map of the hiking trails and helpful suggestions. Trail guides and books on natural history and other related topics are available for purchase.

While Shaw Nature Reserve is best seen by foot, there are opportunities for everyone, from the energetic hiker to someone who requires a wheelchair. 

The one-mile Pinetum Loop Road is open to cars daily, circling Pinetum Lake and providing easy access to the Whitmire Wildflower Garden and the Bascom House.

The Trail House Loop Road (three miles) gives access to the Trail House and Wetland parking areas. It is open to cars April through November,  Monday through Thursdays only (and not on holidays).

The Wilderness Wagon departs from the Visitor Center Saturday and Sunday afternoons in May and October (weather permitting) on the hour: 1, 2 and 3 p.m. This is an informative and relaxing way to view what Shaw Nature Reserve has to offer.

You may contact the Visitor Center by phone at (636) 451-3512 or by email with all inquiries.

Visitor Center Book Store

Shopping at the Shaw Nature Reserve Bookstore
Find the perfect gift for the nature lovers on your list. Shaw Nature Reserve's Visitor Center has a wide selection of books for every interest and all ages. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. We accept credit cards. For more info about gifts please call (636) 451-3512.

The book storeThe Visitor Center is also a bookstore with several hundred titles on nature and science for both adults and children.

There are beautiful hardback books for your coffee table and identification guides for your backpack. For adults, the subject matter runs the gamut: from the expected books on gardening and wildflowers, on Audubon and Thoreau, to books on early pioneers of mapping the earth and sky, books describing joys of beekeeping, living the rural life, birding, in depth study of the world of ants or how the Beaufort Scale for wind measurement was devised. Most of our books are sold at discount prices, so you can take a chance on titles like A World without Bees, Cosmic Numbers, Darwin’s Armada, Earth on Fire, The Thoreau You Don’t Know. The bottom line: nature is fascinating! 

We have a large selection of Golden Guides for children and laminated pocket guides to carry on your hike on topics like pond life, animal tracks, bugs and slugs, medicinal plants and more.

We carry hardback children’s books (originally $14 - $18) for $6-$8. This is a wonderful opportunity to stock up on lovely children’s books.

We also carry greeting cards printed from Edgar Denison’s watercolors of Missouri wildflowers at $2 each or a box of 10 for $12. 

We sell most of the books published by the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

There are also packets of seeds, harvested here at Shaw Nature Reserve, for sale at $1.50 a packet. Available species include various prairie grasses and flowers.

If you are looking for something in particular, you are welcome to check if we have a specific item. Call (636) 451-3512  ext 6075.

We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover.  We do not handle mail orders. 

Shaw Nature Reserve and Missouri Botanical Garden Members receive a 10% discount.