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The Conservation Department purchased this 160-acre tract of land in 1982. It contains quality examples of lowland swamp and bottomland forest in Missouri. A 76-acre portion of the area is designated as a Missouri Natural Area and is managed and protected for its educational and scientific values. The area's bottomland forests support bald cypress, swamp tupelo, water locust, sweetgum, willow oak, overcup oak, water hickory, swamp chestnut oak, water elm, swamp privet, and many other species. A seven-acre natural lake, near the center of the area, is ringed with cypress-tupelo swamp. Some of the bald cypress trees are more than 500 years old. The lake contains swamp species, including the endangered taillight shiner and swamp darter. A boardwalk and platform have been constructed on the western side of the lake for nature viewing and photography. Tree seedlings and acorns have been planted in most open fields to help restore the diverse forest communities the land once supported. Over time, these areas will add to our dwindling supply of lowland bottomland forests.
Hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, dog training, launching and landing boats are allowed 24 hours a day on areas where these activities are permitted.
Allred Lake Natural Area is five miles east of Neelyville on Route 142 and 2.5 miles south on Route H to a southbound gravel road.
This is a predominantly forest area. Facilities/features include: a picnic area, fishing jetties, Buford Pond (three acres, fishable), Blue Springs Natural Area (17 acres), Cardareva Bluff Natural Area (95 aces), and a permanent stream (Current River). The main tract of the Current River Conservation Area is three miles west of Ellington on Route 106. There are three entrances: one is located three miles west of Ellington on Route 106; another is located on South Road in Ellington; the other is located on Reynolds County Road 626.
This area contains 2,400 acres of wetlands, plus forests and some cropland. This is a waterfowl hunting area, established in conjunction with Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.
Facilities include: four boat ramps,; boat rentals; a boat dock; primitive camping; six fishing jetties; and an 1,800-acre lake. The main entrance is nine miles north of Puxico, on Route 51.
This area is east of Bloomfield on Route E, then two miles south on County Road 517. This area is mostly forest (770 acres total), but also has 20 wildlife food plots (30 acres total), five native warm-season grass fields (60 acres total) and 101 acres of old fields. Facilities/features include: an archery range, camping, a pavilion, Holly Ridge, and Beech Springs natural areas (sand forests with acid seeps and springs).
This area contains 2,200 acres of wetlands as well as cropland, forest and old fields. Facilities/features include: a concrete boat ramp, 21 unimproved boat ramps, primitive camping, picnic areas, three fishing jetties, a fishing dock, Otter Lake, Cypress Lake, Otter Lake Natural Area and Bradyville Natural Area. In Stoddard County, travel west of Dexter on Route 60, then 10 miles south on Route ZZ to County Road 675. Turn west on 675 and travel two miles to the area entrance.
This area is located in southeastern Ripley County, 4.5 miles south of Naylor on County Road W. Sand Pond Conservation Area offers good opportunities for hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, and other recreational opportunities. The ponds and their banks support many rare and endangered species, including corkwood, the western mud snake and a federally endangered shrub called pondberry. A 68-acre portion of Sand Pond Conservation Area and the TNC Sand Ponds Preserve is designated as a Missouri Natural Area. Natural Areas are biological communities or geologic sites that are protected and managed to perpetuate the natural character, diversity, and ecological processes of Missouri's native landscapes.
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