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This rugged forest and old fields area has a hiking trail and 25 miles of field roads open to horseback riders. It also offers access to the Jacks Fork and Current rivers. The 39,325-acre area is north of Eminence and extends 15 miles west to near Summersville. It can be accessed by Routes 19 and 106, or Route D.
Castor River Conservation Area is nearly all forest and is home to Blue Pond Natural Area. Blue Pond is the deepest natural pond in Missouri. Facilities/features include: primitive camping, a multi-use hike/bike/horse trail, numerous intermittent streams, and one permanent stream. The main tract lies 12 miles west of Marble Hill on both sides of the Route 34.
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.
The Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area is located southwest of Columbia. This 4,286-acre area is known for shorebird and migratory game bird viewing. Seasonally flooded wetlands attract numerous species of birds, making this a top site for bird watchers and migratory game bird hunters. The Missouri River flows along the western border of the area and Perche Creek flows along the easter border.
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 is a predominantly forest area with savanna and glades. Facilities include: Sunklands Natural Area, numerous small streams and a permanent stream (Current River). Sunklands Conservation Area is eight miles north of Route 17 on Route K, then one mile down Route K-B. Watch for an area sign at the junction of roads K-B and MDC Trail 360. The area can also be accessed by driving north of Eminence on Route 19, then one mile west on County Road 19-234. Watch for the area sign.
Located along the Mississippi River, at the community of Ashburn, the 6,705-acre Ted Shanks Conservation Area offers unique opportunities for wildlife viewing and waterfowl hunting. The area contains a mix of bottomland hardwood timber, open marsh, mixed shrub/scrub/emergent wetlands, row crops, oxbow lakes and sloughs, old fields and upland woods. About 4,000 acres of the area are seasonally flooded to provide feeding, roosting and shelter habitat for migratory birds. Facilities/features include: a lake boat ramp, stream boat ramp, waterfowl blinds, and two natural areas. There are more than 500 acres of fishable water, inluding Horseshoe Lake, Salt River and the Mississippi River.
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