Take a small summer getaway into the trees of this heavily forested conservation area in Northeast Missouri.
Find an escape from the July sun in the shaded hills of Elmslie Memorial Conservation Area (CA). This 238-acre area in Marion County invites visitors to explore the rugged wood hills of northeastern Missouri, which stand in sharp contrast to the flat farmlands nearby.
To highlight the best of the area’s forests, Elmslie Forest Natural Area occupies 100 acres on the south end of the conservation area. The forests here are mostly upland, with white, black, and northern red oaks and hickories predominant. Post oak woodlands and small glade openings occur on the natural area’s dry, rocky ridges, and southern exposures. On steep, north-facing slopes, moisture-loving tree species such as basswood and sugar maple grow. Bottomland forest occurs along North River, which runs through the southern portion of the area for more than 1/4 mile.
Visitors can familiarize themselves with Elmslie Forest Natural Area’s natural communities along with the native wildflowers and shrubs that associated with them just by taking a short hike. A 3/4-mile trail leads hikers on a steep yet scenic journey through the forested area and around a picturesque pond at the natural area’s north end. Primitive camping is permitted except along roadways and during firearms deer and turkey hunting seasons.
Anglers can lure catfish, crappie, and sunfish with plenty of access to the clear North River. Area managers maintain a 100-foot corridor of undisturbed vegetation along the waterway to prevent erosion of the banks and to enhance the stream’s natural beauty.
In addition to protecting the river’s aquatic ecosystem, Elmslie Memorial CA managers focus especially on maintaining forest quality in the area. A timber-stand improvement project was conducted in 2008 following a selective timber harvest. After the improvement project was complete, area managers installed a 5-acre tree planting in the northwest corner of Elmslie Memorial CA. Additionally, some log decks have been converted to clover food plots to benefit area wildlife.
Elmslie Memorial CA is located 1 mile east of Warren. To reach the area, travel 1.5 miles south on County Road 229 from Route C in Warren. As always, for more information about Elmslie Memorial CA including a brochure and map of the area, visit the website listed below. —Rebecca Maples, photo by Noppadol Paothong
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler