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Trail Guide: Talbot Conservation Area

Area Name: Robert E. Talbot Conservation Area

Trails: Two multi-purpose trails and one foot trail totaling 10.5 miles

Unique features: Quail hunting and heron rookery

For more information: Call (417) 895-6880 or explore our online atlas, keyword "Talbot".

Hikers, bikers, horseback riders and quail hunters all will find something to like about this 4,361-acre area in Lawrence County, west of Springfield. Bobwhite quail enthusiasts will find good hunting at this area, which is one of the Conservation Department’s 19 Quail Emphasis Areas. The area also has 10.5 miles of multi-purpose trail open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Hikers have the Spring River Nature Trail to themselves. This 1.7-mile, natural-surface loop at the area’s south end has three cut-off trails that permit users to take shorter hikes without doubling back. Features of this trail include a scenic bluff overlook, benches and a variety of landscapes from forest to open fields with native grasses. Sycamores along the river near the south end of the area harbor a communal blue heron nesting site, or rookery. Near the area’s north end is a 7-acre fishing lake with a boat ramp and a handicap-accessible fishing jetty.

Meet the Migrants!

At Cape Girardeau’s Conservation Campus

Millions of birds pass through Missouri each year during arduous journeys that span the globe. To celebrate this amazing phenomenon, the Cape Girardeau Conservation Campus Nature Center will observe International Migratory Bird Day Saturday, May 10. Come and learn about migration through activities, games and guided bird walks. Meet live birds of prey at one of The World Bird Sanctuary’s programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the nature center auditorium. Or come early and watch one of the bird-banding demonstrations that begin at 7 a.m. For details, call (573) 290-5218.

Grand River

Enjoy great fishing access without the crowds.

Fishing can’t always be excellent, but on this northern tributary of the Missouri River it’s always grand. Anglers don’t have to be crowded as they pursue channel, flathead and blue catfish; the Grand River runs 145 miles from the confluence of its West and Middle forks near Albany. Take your pick of fishing from boat or bank, with trotlines, bank poles, cane poles or heavy-duty big-cat tackle. You also will find plenty of access. Launch a canoe or kayak at Andy Denton, Savage or Green accesses in the upper reach of the river or trailered boats at Elam Bend Conservation Area (CA) or Wabash Crossing Access on the upper Grand. Canoe and kayak accesses below the midpoint of the Grand include Holmes Bend Access, Newman Memorial Access and Fountain Grove CA. Lower-river boat ramps include the Coval Gann–Chillicothe, Sumner, Bosworth and Brunswick accesses.

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