This 919-acre Cole County area boasts open fields, ponds, woodlands, glades, a shooting range, and 8 miles of hiking trail overlooking South Moreau Creek.
When Scrivner Road Conservation Area was acquired in 1984, it was a cattle farm that was extensively cleared of its forested acres and converted to fescue for hay and pasture. Since that time, much of the area has grown back as young forest or old field habitats. However, area staff continue to crop some of the bottomland fields along South Moreau Creek to provide additional food sources for wildlife.
Hikers can traverse the Moreau Creek Trail east from the shooting range, turning north along South Moreau Creek and along the bluffs above.
Along this trail and across the area, birders may hear or see blue-winged warblers, common yellowthroats, and blue grosbeaks in open and brushy habitats, but field sparrows, indigo buntings, and eastern towhees are much more abundant. If hikers venture off the trail a bit, they may encounter tall larkspur, coneflowers, blazing star, and other wildflowers on small glades during the growing season. Claywell Glade is an open, circular glade surrounded by mature
forest in the northwest portion of the area — it’s well off the trail and a bit harder to access, but its yellow coneflowers, false foxglove, hoary puccoon, and chinkapin oaks are tough to beat. Contact the area for information on how to get there.
The 9-acre Winegar Lake offers fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish, as do the smaller Claywell and Trail ponds. Smaller ponds on the area are not managed or stocked for fishing but may contain green sunfish and other game fish. In addition to fishing, the area also offers opportunities for hiking; horseback riding; small game, deer, and turkey hunting; and shooting at the unstaffed shooting range. The shooting range provides facilities for shotgun, pistol, and rifle shooting and is free to the public. Recent habitat management has worked to restore glade and woodland communities that were historically found on the area. The area’s management approach has focused on removing eastern red cedar from open woodlands, thinning young and crowded hardwood stands on portions of the area, and using prescribed fire. Prescribed fire helps to thin forest stands and allow more sunlight to reach the ground to encourage native forbs and grasses, and to discourage aggressive invasive species such as tall fescue and cedar. The reintroduction of native wildflower seed and prescribed fire to areas that were previously fescue fields has increased the area’s plant diversity and is highly beneficial to wildlife.
Scrivner Road Conservation Area is in Cole County, a few miles south of Russelville. Follow Route AA south to Scrivner Road, turn east and proceed 1½ miles to Scott Road. Follow Scott Road into the area.
—Frank Drummond, area manager
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