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General Watkins Conservation Area

General Watkins Conservation Area contains a forest type more closely resembling Appalachian than Missouri forests. Sweet gum, American beech, cucumber trees and tulip poplars are found here, along common Missouri species like white and red oak, maple, hickory and walnut.

This moist beech-oak forest has spicebush, dogwood and paw paw growing in the shrub layer. 

The ground layer, which is dominated by Virginia creeper and poison ivy, includes Christmas fern, broad beech fern, beech drops and Virginia pennywort.

The area offers camping, fishing, hiking and hunting. Natural erosion has created steep-sided canyons up to 50 feet deep. People walking near these canyons should be cautious.

The area is named for a famous Missouri statesman and Civil War general, Nathanial Watkins, who lived here and is buried in a small cemetery in the forest. The 1,108 acres are 14 miles north of Sikeston.


Check website for details
Highway 77
Oran, MO 63771

Additional Information

Open Year-round
Not Wheelchair Accessible
Smoking Allowed Outdoors Only
All Ages
Biking / Walking Trails
Service Animals Welcome
Pets On Leash Allowed
Free Admission

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