Night hike through Sodalis Nature Preserve in Hannibal set for Saturday night

Hannibal Parks and Recreation

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The bats that hibernate all winter in Sodalis Nature Preserve are starting to wake up and become active. A night hike through the preserve led by Gale Rublee, nature educator for Hannibal Parks & Recreation, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.

“When exactly do the bats start leaving the old lime kiln mines at Sodalis? Well, it depends on several factors from outside air temperature, food supply and the stirring in their little bodies that spring is arriving, and it’s time to find their forest homes,” Rublee said in a press release. “If it’s a warm night, we might see some bats beginning to emerge.”

Sodalis Nature Preserve was named for the myotis sodalis (Indiana bat) species that was discovered in the park. Bat scientists estimate about 200,000 of the bats hibernate in the abandoned limestone mines.

The full night hike program lasts about two hours and follows a 2-mile paved trail. Participants are welcome to stay with the group or return to the parking lot on their own. Activities include seasonal observations, sensory activities and the telling of the creation of Sodalis Nature Preserve.

Nature programs and hikes are led by Rublee, a nationally certified interpreter guide with more than 30 years of experience as a nature educator and storyteller.

Reservations must be made by contacting Hannibal Parks & Recreation at 573-221-0154 or mlrichards@hannibal-mo.gov.

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