Antje and Bill Horton loved walking the trails at Pickle Springs Natural Area, located just a few miles south of the Horton farm in Ste. Genevieve County. They had met in Germany in the early 1970’s while Bill was serving in the United States Navy, and thereafter found themselves living either overseas or on the east coast. Periodically, they returned to Ste. Genevieve County for family visits. Bill died tragically in a car accident in 1997. “Before he died, Bill and I had talked about donating the farm, as we did not have any children. Bill loved the farm, a part of which had been in the Horton family for more than a century, and wanted it to be conserved for wildlife and the public’s enjoyment,” Antje stated from her home in Arlington, Virginia. In 2007, Antje offered the 640-acre farm as a donation to the Department of Conservation, specifying that the new area be named the Horton Farm Conservation Area. “I wanted to honor my husband’s wish to donate the property so that people could have a place to go and enjoy being outdoors. I remember the times when we would go to Pickle Springs [Natural Area], and walk around. I always thought it was such a lovely place. It is my hope that children and adults alike will enjoy and have similar feelings about the Horton Farm Conservation Area.”
Located approximately ½ mile north of Hawn State Park and 1 ½ miles southeast of Hickory Canyons Natural Area, the Horton Farm Conservation Area is rolling hills with forested ravines and small streams.
Directions to Horton Farm Conservation Area: From Interstate 55: Take Highway 32 west 12 miles to Highway 144, then Highway 144 southeast 0.2 mile to Miller Switch Road north, parking lot will be immediately on the right. From Farmington: Take Highway 32 east 10 miles, take Highway 144 southeast, and Miller Switch Road north to parking lot.