Points of Interest:
- Listen for the chorus of frogs in spring that use the unusual sinkhole pond marsh here.
- In the summer see the large blooms of wild hibiscus and buttonbush that ring the sinkhole pond.
- Look for unusual wetland plants growing in an otherwise dry and rocky Ozark woods.
Natural Features Description:
Sinkhole ponds such as this are formed by the slow dissolution of limestone or dolomite bedrock below or the sudden collapse of a cave below. Sinkholes are found in karst landscapes that also have caves and springs. Over time this sinkhole filled with silt and clay particles and decaying vegetation allowing it to seasonally hold water. In the spring the western chorus frog and spring peepers can be heard. Sinkhole ponds are important breeding habitat for a number of frog, salamander and insect species. Growing in this pond are a number of rare or uncommon plant species. One of these, the epiphytic sedge, is more commonly found growing at the base of bald cypress trees in southeastern swamps. A number of the plant species found in Ozark sinkhole ponds have their centers of distribution in the southeastern coastal plain.
This natural area is within the Mark Twain National Forest. From the junction of Highway 60 and Highway 19 just south of Winona, travel south on Highway 19 for about 12 miles. Look for the sign for Forest Service Road 3174 on your right (west) and at this point slow down and look for the two-track Forest Service Road 4220 on your left (east). Pull off here. The natural area is just north of this pull off. Hunting is permitted.
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