The last night hike of the year will be Saturday. The night hike through Sodalis Nature Preserve will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, scheduled in time for participants to see bats at sunset.
The hike is called “Welcome Home, Myotis Sodalis.” The scientific name of Indiana bats is myotis sodalis and scientists have determined that more than 211,000 of these endangered bats hibernate in the abandoned limestone mines at Sodalis Nature Preserve.Myotis means “mouse ear” and refers to the relatively small, mouse-like ears of the bats. Sodalis is the Latin word for “companion” and is a reference to the very social nature of the species.
Each fall, Indiana bats migrate from their summer habitats to congregate in the vicinity of their hibernation sites, which include caves and abandoned mine shafts. During this time, the bats engage in mating activity and feed in the surrounding area to build the fat reserves needed during hibernation. The bats then hibernate from late October to April.
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.
There will be a strict limit of 20 participants and reservations must be made by calling Hannibal Parks & Recreation at 221-0154 or by emailing
Nature programs and hikes are led by Gale Rublee, a nationally certified interpreter guide with more than 25 years of experience in outdoor education.