Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center – St. Charles, Missouri

Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center.jpgWeldon Spring Site Interpretive Center – St. Charles, Missouri the nation’s largest explosives manufacturing plant prior to WW II. Gone were the towns and 576 inhabitants of Howell, Hamburg, and Toonerville that were vacated to create this plant.

In 1955, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, (the predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy), converted a portion of the site into the Weldon Spring Uranium Feed Materials Plant. From 1957 to 1966, uranium ore was processed at the plant for the nation’s nuclear weapons industry.

In 1986, the U.S. Department of Energy established an office on this site and the effort to clean up the former uranium processing plant was started. The successful completion of the Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project (WSSRAP) disposal cell in 2001.

In 2002 the final restoration of the Chemical Plant site and the quarry was completed. The areas were graded then seeded to minimize erosion and to return the areas to their natural contours. The official opening of the Weldon Spring Interpretive Center was celebrated in the summer. Haul roads were converted to a hike and bike trail, the Hamburg Trail, linking the historic Katy Trail from the quarry to the Chemical Plant site and to the wildlife center at the August A. Busch Memorial Wildlife Area. This trail gives visitors the opportunity to experience an important part of this of the county’s history while enjoying family-oriented recreation.

the Weldon Spring Interpretive Center offers the opportunity to learn about many subjects relating to the environment, ground water and surface water, radiation in the environment, prairie ecology, native Missouri plants and a great deal more. The educational opportunities are endless.

Adjacent to the Center is the 75-foot-high Weldon Spring Disposal Cell. A viewing platform on top of the cell offers a panoramic view of St. Charles County and the surrounding Howell Prairie. The 8-mile Hamburg Trail on the site links to the historic Katy Trail State Park, a bicycle and pedestrian trail that stretches almost 200 miles across the state along the Missouri River, and to the wildlife center at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area northwest of the Center.

Location: 7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO

Phone: (636) 329–1438

Amenities available include picnic tables, drinking fountain, and restrooms.

Hours: April 1 – October 31
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 4:00 p.m.
Closed holidays

November 1 – March 31
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 4:00 p.m.
Closed holidays

Driving directions: The Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center is located in southwestern St. Charles County, Missouri, approximately 35 miles west of St. Louis. It is located on Missouri State Route 94, 2 miles south of the Route 94 and U.S. Highway 40/61 junction. 

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