Area Name: Fiery Fork Conservation Area
Trails: Two totaling 2.75 miles
Unique features: Picnic/camp sites
For more information: Call (573) 346-2210, ext. 229, or visit our online atlas, keyword "Fiery".
Named for a tributary of the Niangua River, Fiery Fork CA is a great place for hikers, hunters, picnickers, anglers and campers. The area has a gravel bar launch for canoes, kayaks and other small boats. Hikers can view wildlife in natural settings along the River Glade Trail’s 1-mile loop or venture into the 1,606-acre area’s interior on the linear, 1.25-mile Area Access Trail. You can have a picnic or stay overnight in one of two campgrounds with gravel-covered camping pads, fire grates and concrete picnic tables. You will find a concrete privy in the campground near the trailhead. You need to bring your own drinking and cooking water, however. Fishing opportunities include wade-fishing for bass, sunfish and suckers in Fiery Fork or float-fishing the Little Niangua River. Lake of the Ozarks lies about 4 miles down the Little Niangua from the access on Fiery Fork.
When June weather turns irresistible, southwest Missouri residents can enjoy hikes on the Springfield Conservation Nature Center’s 3 miles of trails. The Long Trail makes a winding, 2.1-mile loop, traversing forest and field, lakefront and valleys. It connects to the Ozark Greenways trail system. Six trails connecting to the Long Trail take hikers on .1- to .3-mile forays past bluffs, marshes and savannas. All trails have been cleared of debris from last year’s ice storms. Call (417) 888-4237 for more information and to learn about National Trails Day events June 7.
Canoeists and kayakers can experience the United States’ two greatest rivers in one float at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, which lies at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. One put-in point is a concrete boat ramp on the Missouri River at Columbia Bottom’s north side. Pelican Island Access, about 7 miles upriver from the Columbia Bottom, has a boat ramp adjacent to Pelican Island Natural Area. The rivers merge about 2.5 miles downstream from the Columbia Bottom boat ramp. You can wave to sightseers standing on the Confluence Observation Platform. The take-out point is a canoe/kayak access on the west bank of the Mississippi River 1.5 miles downstream from the observation platform. The rivers can be turbulent, especially when they are at high flows. Information about viewing the Missouri River’s flow for the past 30 days is listed below. Click on “Real-Time Data.”
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