Come prepared to explore Danville Conservation Area (CA) with hiking boots, cameras, picnic baskets and wildflower identification guides. This 2,655-acre area features almost 2,000 acres of well-developed forest accompanied by limestone glades and grassland fields.
While Danville CA provides prime wildflower-viewing opportunities during the summer growing season, the unique geologic formations exposed on the area are best seen in the fall through the spring.
The conservation area is also home to the 361-acre Danville Natural Area (NA), which boasts the largest limestone glades north of the Missouri River. Split into two units, Danville NA’s larger eastern unit can best be viewed from the Danville Glades Trail, a 3 mile loop that leads hikers through woodlands of post, chinkapin and blackjack oak, along with intermittent open fields.
Danville CA puts rich wildflower displays at the forefront throughout the growing season. More than 300 native plant species have been documented at Danville NA alone, including characteristic limestone glade plants such as prairie dock, silky aster, glade milkweed and cylindrical blazing star. The conservation area also supports pale-purple coneflower, glade coneflower, prairie clovers and Indian paintbrush, among other native wildflower species. Wildlife-viewing opportunities are abundant. The most obvious are typically birds. Danville CA’s variety of glade and woodland birds can include species such as the summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern wood-peewee, prairie warbler and yellow-breasted chat.
Native grasses and legumes provide excellent habitat for wild turkeys. The area also supports elusive ruffed grouse in low numbers. In-season hunting opportunities include deer and turkey. Clear, Pinch and Dishwater creeks add a splash of water to the beauty of the landscape. Camping on the area is primitive, but two disabled-accessible privies with public restrooms are available on the eastern and western ends. Campers should bring water and come prepared to pack out waste. MDC has used management techniques such as tree thinning and prescribed fire to restore the glades and woodlands on Danville NA. Cedar removal and prescribed fires are frequently used across the conservation area to maintain these natural communities.
Danville CA is located in Montgomery County and can be easily reached from Interstate
70. For more information including an area map and brochure, visit the Danville CA website.
—Rebecca Maples, photo by David Stonner
Recreation opportunities: Bird watching, bicycling and horseback riding on public roadways only, hiking, hunting in season, nature and wildlife viewing, outdoor photography, primitive camping with disabled-accessible privies, trapping with special-use permit
Unique features: This area features more than 300 species of native wildflowers, prime bird-watching opportunities and the largest limestone glades north of the Missouri River.
For More Information: Call 573-815-7900 or visit mdc.mo.gov/a6507.
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