Explore beautiful forests at Edward Anderson CA, where fall colors are at their finest in northeastern Missouri.
Autumn is a stunning season at Edward Anderson Conservation Area (CA), where fall colors are at their finest in northeastern Missouri. This 1,045-acre area covers parts of Pike and Ralls counties and offers the season’s prime nature-viewing opportunities.
Featuring forests almost exclusively, Edward Anderson CA is all about the trees. White, black, northern red and swamp white oaks, along with mixed hickories, dominate the area’s forests. The mixed oaks display a broad range of red, yellow and orange leaves during fall.
The conservation area’s hills reach a pinnacle at the highest point in Ralls County at 804 feet. Small, intermittent streams traverse the hilly terrain and drain into the Mississippi River, which borders the area for 2.3 miles. The river provides fishing waters for catfish, crappie and gar, but waterfront access is limited. The woods can also be used for deer, turkey and squirrel hunting in season. Timber stands provide excellent habitat for a variety of wildlife, so bird watching and wildlife viewing are year-round activities.
Although there are no designated trails, adventurous hikers can explore the area via an access road that leads close to the Mississippi River. The terrain is fairly rough and steep in some areas, so hikers should take necessary safety precautions. Primitive camping is available, and walk-in or float-in camping is permitted except during firearms deer and turkey seasons.
Edward Anderson CA managers use techniques such as a timber harvest and timber stand improvement (TSI) to take care of the area’s trees. A few years ago forest density at the area had become too high, leaving trees too crowded and competing for resources. A timber harvest reduced the density, and a TSI was implemented following the harvest.
TSI frees trees desirable for wildlife and forest-products purposes from competition, thins trees to suitable numbers and removes undesirable and cull trees. TSI enhances the appearance and health of a forest as well as improving wildlife food and habitat, especially for deer and turkey. Any aesthetic disturbances due to these management practices are temporary and work to maintain beautiful woodlands for the future of Edward Anderson CA.
Edward Anderson CA is located 20 miles north of Louisiana on Highway 79. For more information including a map and brochure, visit the website listed below.
—Rebecca Maples, photo by Noppadol Paothong
Recreation opportunities: Hunting in season, fishing, bird watching, hiking, primitive camping, wildlife viewing
Unique features: This area features more than 1,000 acres of forest, which offers fantastic fall colors.
For More Information: call 573-248-2530 or visit mdc.mo.gov/a6311
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