Enjoy a midwinter outdoor adventure at this large, rugged area in the Southwest Region.
Gear up this month, and head to Flag Spring CA in Barry and McDonald counties. This 4,036-acre area, named for the stream that flanks its west side, offers something for nearly every outdoor enthusiast. Wildlife photographers will appreciate the area’s wild, rugged beauty. Hikers, bikers and horseback riders will find nearly 12 miles of multi-use trails winding throughout the area. Firearms enthusiasts can target practice at the area’s unstaffed shooting range and new shotgun-shooting area. The area is also popular with hunters and trappers, and birders may see a few returning migrants by the end of February.
Primarily upland oak-and-hickory woodlands, Flag Spring CA is managed for wildlife habitat. Upcoming treatments, including prescribed fire, will focus on improving wild turkey brood-rearing habitat in an effort to bring the area’s turkey population up to par with that found in the rest of the state.
Most of the area’s 13 wildlife food plots and openings have a watering hole nearby. These breaks in the timber provide viewing opportunity for a variety of upland game.
Hunters can pursue deer, squirrel and turkey in season. Trappers with a special-use permit are welcome to take furbearers. Target practice or sight-in your firearm at the rifle range with 25-, 50- and 100-yard lanes. The new shotgun-shooting area at the end of the 1432 road gives you the chance to shoot some clay pigeons or sight-in your shotgun before turkey season. The area’s few primitive, ridge-top campsites are available for use year ’round, but note that they lack water and latrines.
Springtime brings views of serviceberry, dogwood and redbud flowering to the area. As temperatures warm, a variety of birds come through, and some stay to nest for the season. Summer tanagers, red-eyed vireos, eastern wood peewees and ovenbirds are some species you might see here during spring and summer. Barred owls and various woodpeckers are also commonly sighted and heard on the area. You can find the complete list of the area’s bird species at the website listed below.
To get to Flag Spring CA, travel northwest of Washburn 1.75 miles on Route UU, then go west three miles on the first public gravel road. As always, visit the area’s website to catch the latest notices download the area map and brochure.
—Bonnie Chasteen, photo by David Stonner
Recreation opportunities: Bicycling, birding, camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and target practice
Unique features: This rugged yet beautiful upland area features oak/hickory woodlands and Flag Spring, which flows year ‘round.
Call 417-895-6880 or visit our online atlas.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler