Open to the Public
Hiking, bird watching, eagle viewing. View All
Tips and guidelines for visiting this preserve.View All
The majority of Sandy Island Eagle Sanctuary was donated by Missouri photographer Frank Oberle and his wife Judy in 1992 as a safe habitat for bald eagles. This area provides a wonderful natural area only miles from St. Louis, making it an accessible and reliable place to observe these majestic birds in their winter habitat.
Why You Should Visit
Sandy Island provides critical habitat for wintering bald eagles that visit this region of the Mississippi River. The Mary Chambers Wiese platform located adjacent to the preserve, provides close-range viewing (complete with mounted scope) of the eagles and other birds.
Minutes from the St. Louis metropolitan area, just south of Winfield Lock and Dam, three miles east of Winfield, Missouri on Highway N.
28 acres (includes a quarter mile of frontage along the Mississippi River just below the dam)
The preserve itself is closed to all visitation from November 1 to March 1, when the eagles are present.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Mary Wiese Observation Platform is located on Corps of Engineers property at the south end of Lock and Dam #25.
Update: Winter 2009: For safety reasons, the Corps of Engineers removed the stairs to the upper deck to keep visitors off this portion of the structure since major repairs are needed. Visitors can visit and walk along the levee and picnic areas to view the eagles.
What to See: Animals
During the winter months, up to several hundred bald eagles use the preserve's cottonwood and silver maples trees for roosting. January and February are prime viewing times.
What to See: Plants
From the tall trees, the eagles scan the open water below the dam, where they dive to catch fish.
Check the local weather forecast and dress accordingly. No special gear or clothing is recommended.
- Take Highway 79 north to Highway N
- Go east on Highway N to Winfield Lock and Dam 25
- Visitors gain access from the Lock and Dam #25 parking area,
walking south from the parking lot along a trail to the other end of the lock