By Larry Archer
Waters for recreation and contemplation.
Recreationally speaking, Barclay Conservation Area (CA), located 40 miles south of the Lake of the Ozarks in Dallas County, really punches above its weight.
At 426 acres, this conservation area is something of a lightweight, but, acre for acre, it holds its own against many of MDC’s much larger properties. With more than a mile and a half of Niangua River frontage in a White Ribbon Trout Area, boat ramp, canoe launch, and a prime spot in a National Audubon Society Important Birding Area, Barclay CA has plenty to keep anglers, floaters, birders, and hikers occupied.
The list of those taking advantage of the area’s recreational opportunities extends beyond the traditional to some of nature’s most fun-loving furbearers, according to Steven LaVal, resource forester and Barclay CA’s manager. “It’s not uncommon to see otters
at the boat ramp in the evening,” LaVal said. “There’s a family of otters that lives somewhere right there, so a lot of people see them.” If the Niangua River is all about recreation, then Barclay Spring is all about contemplation. With a daily output of nearly 5 million gallons, the spring’s rushing waters provide those wishing to slow down a natural soundtrack for relaxation and meditation.
“In March, there’ll still be eagles. There’s always some eagles hanging around because it’s close to the river. By then, you might also hear some turkey gobble or hear some quail whistle.”
—Barclay Conservation Area Manager Steven LaVal
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
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Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler