Victoria Glade

Victoria Glade is an oasis of natural beauty just south of St. Louis.

Open to the Public


Things To Do

Hiking, bird watching, wild flower viewing, exploring.  You may even be lucky enough to see a scorpion or a tarantula! View All

Plan Your Visit

Tips and guidelines for visiting this preserve. View All

Get Directions

This desert-like environment has an interesting array of wildlife not found elsewhere in Missouri and one of the world's largest populations of Fremont's leather flower. Fremont's leather flower is only found in east-central Missouri glades and a small area on the Nebraska/Kansas border.

Why You Should Visit

Glades are unique natural communities with strong bedrock influences that support many plants and animals of conservation concern, and Missouri has more glade area than any other state. Victoria Glade is rich with natural wonders and is only 30 miles south of St. Louis. The site is one of the few places on the planet to see Fremont's leather flower,


Jefferson County, east of Hillsboro




101 acres


The terrain is moderately difficult to hike, and the climate is very hot in the summer.  June is the best time to visit.  There are no designated trails.  Please do not disturb flags and markers, which belong to several research projects conducted by the Conservancy and several university partners.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

This treeless and rocky preserve harbors a unique array of species including several that are generally more commonly found in the desert Southwest, rather than a few miles from the banks of the Mississippi River.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

We are using annual prescribed burns to eradicate the red cedars that infringe on the glade. Several research projects by local universities are on-going at Victoria Glade. 


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Exposed dolomite steps are a distinctive feature of Victoria Glade, and are easily spotted by visitors to the preserve.

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Victoria Glade's unusual desert-like environment provides homes for scorpions, tarantulas, and black widow spiders.

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Victoria Glade abounds with native flowering plants, including Indian Paintbrush.


Watch Now

The Nine Network's Jim Kirchherr explores Victoria Glade and learns how the Conservancy keeps the preserve healthy.

The 101-acre Victoria Glade habitat harbors a unique array of species including several that are generally more commonly found in the desert Southwest, rather than a few miles from the banks of the Mississippi River. More than 300 species of flowering plants, including the very rare Fremont's leather flower, are found in the preserve.

What to See: Plants

In addition to Fremont's leather flower, flora here include more than 300 natural flowering plants including blue wild indigo, American aloe, Missouri Black-eyed Susan, blazing star and green milkweed.

What to See: Animals

The exposed dolomite and west- and south- facing slopes keep the glade hot and arid, creating perfect conditions for collared lizards, scorpions, tarantulas and black widow spiders.

Check the local weather forecast and dress accordingly.  Long pants and sleeves, hiking boots, hat and drinking water are recommended.  During warm weather light color and light-weight clothing is suggested.  Repellent, binoculars and field guide(s) are also worth bringing.  Keep an eye out for black widow spiders.

Preserve Visitation Guidelines

    • Go south on highway 21 to hwy A (Hillsboro) exit.
    • Turn left at light at end of exit ramp, then right at next light onto Business 21 South.
    • Go 1.3 miles to light at junction with hwy BB – turn left onto Main St.
    • Go one block to end of street, then turn right onto southbound Vreeland Rd.
    • Go 2.3 miles (one stop sign in middle) to signed parking area for Victoria Glade on left.




Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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