Thirty Years for Missouri's Natural Areas
La Petite Gemme Prairie Natural Area
37 acres in Polk County
Tallgrass prairie, just south of Bolivar, that is bisected by the Frisco Highline Trail (36-mile Springfield to Bolivar biking/hiking trail, (417) 864-2015) at mile marker 32. Owned by the Missouri Prairie Foundation ((573) 356-7828) and managed by the Conservation Department.
Driving Directions: Go south from Bolivar on Highway 13 and exit to the west at the Highway 13 and Business Highway 13 (Highway 83) interchange. Take the Outer Road south 0.6 mile to East 473rd road; go west on East 473rd road for nearly a mile to the parking lot on the south side.
Diamond Grove Prairie Natural Area
570 acres in Newton County
Tallgrass prairie close to Joplin, rich in wildflowers and prairie birds.
Driving Directions: From the town of Diamond, go four miles west on Route V, then turn north onto a gravel county road for 1.25 miles to the parking lot on the east side.
Stegall Mountain Natural Area
3,872 acres in Carter County
Ozark glades, expansive woodlands and deep hollows traversed by over six miles of the Ozark Trail. Area owned by the Conservation Department, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy.
Driving Directions: Located within Peck Ranch Conservation Area. From the junction of Highway 19 and Route H in Winona, travel east five miles on Route H to the entrance sign, then east on County Road 311 (gravel) for approximately 5.75 miles. Before the gravel road heads south down the hill, look to the north side of the road for a parking lot and Ozark Trail trailhead. Best access is by the Ozark Trail (Ozark Trail Coordinator, (800) 334-6946).
Paint Brush Prairie Natural Area
74 acres in Pettis County
Tallgrass prairie south of Sedalia with many wildflowers, regal fritillary butterflies and prairie birds.
Driving Directions: From the intersection of Highway 65 and Route B in Sedalia, drive approximately nine miles south on Highway 65. Then turn east on Manila Road (gravel) for about 400 feet to a parking lot on the north side.
Grand Bluffs Natural Area
160 acres in Montgomery County
Towering bluffs of dolomite rock rise 300 feet above the Missouri River floodplain near the town of Hermann. Visitors can hike a 1-mile natural-surface trail from the parking lot to an overlook, or they can hike or bike along the KATY Trail State Park ((800) 334-6946) between mile markers 105 and 110 to see the bluffs from below.