Explore Missouri's original landscapes

Missouri's natural areas represent some of the best — and last — examples of our state's original landscape. Here are places where you can still see the rare plants, animals, and geological features that pre-settlement native Americans knew well or that explorers such as Lewis and Clark observed and recorded. Explore remnant prairies, old-growth forests and woodlands, rare wetlands, caves, and many other kinds of native habitat.

Plan a visit

Use the information in this section to plan a visit to a natural area. Whether your interest is nature study, birding, hiking, fishing, hunting, or photography, you'll find a designated Missouri natural area to enjoy your favorite low-impact outdoor recreational activity.

Map of Natural Areas in Missouri


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Title County Designation Datesort icon
Cardareva Bluff Shannon 11/16/1984
Brush Creek St. Clair 11/16/1984
Westport Island Lincoln 11/16/1984
Danville Glades Montgomery 11/16/1984
Johnson's Shut-Ins Dolomite Glade Reynolds 11/26/1984
Kelso Sanctuary Cape Girardeau 11/26/1984
Buffalo Hills McDonald 06/28/1985
Washington State Park Hardwood Washington 07/23/1985
Blair Creek Raised Fen Shannon 01/24/1986
Wells Branch Fen Ripley 01/24/1986
Ashe Juniper Stone 01/24/1986
Pickle Springs Ste. Genevieve 06/13/1986
Grand Gulf Oregon 07/15/1986
Ripgut Prairie Bates 03/13/1987
Dave Rock St. Clair 03/13/1987
Prairie Slough Lincoln 03/13/1987
Marmaton River Bottoms Vernon 03/13/1987
Sand Ponds Ripley 03/13/1987
Horton Bottoms Vernon 03/13/1987
Graham Cave Glades Montgomery 03/22/1989
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/2453