VisitMO editor's note: This article reprinted with permission of Missouri Conservationist Magazine; to see the original content, please click here.
Jefferson County, Mo. - Outdoor enthusiasts have a slice of nature to discover and explore in the St. Louis area: the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family Conservation Area (CA), operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Acquiring the 429-acre Glassberg CA was made possible through a donation from the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family and the USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program.
The Conservation Area (CA) is located within the watersheds of the Meramec River and LaBarque Creek. LaBarque Creek is one of the highest-quality stream systems in the St. Louis area. At least 42 species of fish live in the creek. This diversity is almost three times greater than that of any other Meramec River tributary below LaBarque. The new conservation area is managed to help maintain the quality of the stream.
The Glassberg CA lies in the Ozark border region, resulting in a variety of plant communities, including: upland dolomite/limestone woodlands; limestone/dolomite and sandstone forests; and bottomland forests along, with old fields on the lower slopes. The woods are dominated by oaks, hickory, maple and cedar, with an understory of flowering dogwood and redbud.
Visitors to the area enjoy nature viewing, hiking, and fishing. Beginning at the parking lot, 1.5 miles of existing service roads serve as a trail system, taking hikers through much of the Glassberg CA. There is a vantage point overlooking the scenic Meramec River valley. Plans for the area include developing a dedicated loop hiking trail, along with a viewing platform at the overlook.
There is a half-mile loop-trail around the area’s three-acre Buder Lake. Approximately a half-mile from the parking lot, the lake offers walk-up fishing using pole and line methods. Fishing enthusiasts can pursue the lake’s good population of largemouth bass and bluegill.
Hunting is not allowed; however, hunting availability and regulations will be studied by the Conservation Commission.
Visitors to the area see a striking, limestone dedication-monument designed by St. Louis artist and sculptor Gail Cassilly, who was assisted in the stone work by Paul Bayer.
The conservation area is closed 10 p.m.-4 a.m., except for authorized fishing activities. Bicycling, ATV use, horseback riding and camping are not allowed.
From I-44 in Eureka: Route 109 south; then Route FF west, 4.3 miles. The area parking lot is on north side, approximately four-tenths of a mile past the intersection of John McKeever Road and Route FF.