Due to the rugged terrain in this part of the state, much of this area has seen little change since settlement times and due to the lack of fire has developed into an overstocked forest. Settlers found only the extreme southern and a few northern portions of the area level enough for cultivation.
In 1984, The Donald Walker Trust donated 156 acres to the Conservation Department, which later purchased 100 additional acres to form the conservation area.
The conservation area and the adjacent Clifty Creek Natural Area, owned by the L-A-D Foundation provide crucial watershed protection for Clifty and Little Clifty creeks which run through the areas. One of the more dramatic features of Clifty Creek Natural Area is a natural bridge with a span of about 40 feet that was created by a tributary of Clifty Creek carving through Gasconade dolomite. The areas also contain oak-hickory forest, mixed bottomland forest, limestone glades and cliffs and sandstone glades.
A very scenic 2.5 mile loop hiking trail leads from the conservation area parking lot to the natural bridge and back. A hiker can choose to take the loop, or can choose to go and come from the arch via the same trail portion. The trail has an intersection one-tenth of a mile from the parking lot. The right fork in the trail is an additional one mile to the arch; if you choose the left fork the arch is 1.4 miles away - one way. Both forks are very scenic and traverse some very interesting natural features. This trail was completed in the fall of 2008, through funding from the Conservation Department, the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, the LAD Foundation and the Department of Natural Resources via the Recreational Trails Program of the federal government. In addition to these contributors volunteers from around the state built the trail entirely by hand.
A hiker should have appropriate foot wear, water and be in good enough physical condition to walk the moderately difficult trail. The difference in elevation from the parking lot to the bottom of the arch is about 200 feet, however due to the terrain, the change in elevation exceeds 200 feet as the hiker moves up and down the lay of the land in route to the arch.
- Sunday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 105 Title; Authority
Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code applies to this area. The information provided reflects regulations for most activities on this conservation area but does not contain regulations for all possible uses. For more information on area regulations consult the Wildlife Code or call the phone number listed for the area in the area details section.
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 110 General Provisions
Unless specifically authorized, the following activities are prohibited: swimming, sailboarding, skateboarding, entry on areas closed to the public, removal of water, rock collecting, planting, ranging of horses and other livestock, caving, rock climbing, rappelling, paint-balling, scuba diving, water skiing, and fires outside of designated camping areas.
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 115 Closings
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 135 Wild Plants, Plant Products, and Mushrooms
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 130 Vehicles, Bicycles, Horses, and Horseback Riding
Unless otherwise posted, bicycles are allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic. Bicycles must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or on multi-use trails posted as open to bicycles. Groups of 10 or more people using bicycles on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.
Equestrian use is allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic. Horses must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or on multi-use trails posted as open to horses. Groups of 10 or more people using horses on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 140 Camping
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 150 Target Shooting and Shooting Ranges
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 120 Pets and Hunting Dogs
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 180 Hunting, General Provisions and Seasons
Hunting is prohibited on some conservation areas, but allowed on others. Special regulations may apply to hunting. To determine the hunting regulations for this conservation area, consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code at https://www.sos.mo.gov/cmsimages/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3c10-11.pdf.
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 145 Tree Stands
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 155 Decoys and Blinds
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 125 Field Trials
9330 - 3CSR 10-11 - 200 Fishing, General Provisions and Seasons
Fishing is prohibited on some conservation areas, but allowed on others. Special regulations may apply to fishing. To determine the fishing regulations for this conservation area, consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code.