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Hiking, Canoeing and an Amazing Underground Adventure in the Ozarks

Program No. 20269RJ
Discover the pristine beauty of the Ozarks and learn about the region’s natural history through hikes, cave walks, canoeing adventures and a pontoon ride on an underground lake!

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Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

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At a Glance

Set amidst thousands of acres of forest-covered hills, a pristine lake and near one of America’s most remarkable underground playgrounds, Trout Lodge is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise in the Ozarks. Join the outdoor staff to experience the natural history of the area on a hike, canoe Sunnen Lake and learn about aquatic ecology, try your hand at archery or riflery and take a pontoon ride on an underground lake. You can even learn about horses at the Triangle Y ranch and go for a ride. You’ll be amazed at all the activities so close!
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
I enjoy getting my heart going on my bike or on trails. Nothing beats the thrill of taking on a rewarding climb or ride on varied terrain with inclines. Let’s keep moving — occasional stops only, please.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Voted one of America’s Top 100 Adventures, take a pontoon ride on the underground lake in the Bonne Terre Mine.
  • Venture out on a naturalist-led hike to a mud cave, then explore inside.
  • Visit a local winery to sample local wines, try line dancing with ranch staff and enjoy a campfire under the stars!

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This is a Road Scholar Retreats program. Our Retreat programs offer a tranquil respite from daily life in locales that lend themselves to outdoor exploration, reflection, or study. The accommodations may be basic in nature, but the facilities offer communal spaces to gather and to relax. During the week, opportunities usually exist for some combination of light exercise, a locally sourced meal, or evening entertainment. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Missouri Geology: Three Billion Years of Volcanoes, Seas, Sediments, and Erosion
by A.G. Unklesbay and Jarry D. Vineyard
Roadside Geology of Missouri
by Charles G. Spencer
Washington County, Missouri: including its History, the Horine Cemetery, the Hughes Mountain State Natural Area, and More
by Sharon Clyde

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.