Places to Go: Meramec Conservation Area

By Larry Archer | April 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: April 2024

Meramec Conservation Area

Dek in emphasis

If Meramec Conservation Area (CA) had an address on Sesame Street, it would most likely be brought to you by the letter H, as in hiking, horseback riding, and hunting.

Located on 4,045 acres in Franklin County, Meramec CA has nearly 18 miles of trails, including a 10.4-mile multiuse trail (hiking, biking, and horseback riding) and a 1.3-mile ADA-accessible trail, both of which are easy to moderate. The 6.1-mile, hiking-only trail is a bit more challenging, said Resource Forester Matt Pilz.

“I would consider it to be a more rugged and strenuous kind of trail that has a lot of switchbacks and ups and downs,” Pilz said.

Additional care should be taken in April and early May, as the area is also a popular turkey hunting destination, he said.

“Being a pretty good-sized area with over 4,000 acres of woods, it’s pretty good turkey habitat, so during the season, we get quite a few turkey hunters here,” Pilz said.

The area is also a good place for birding.

“It is a great area for birds because of the variety of habitat,” he said. “You have the Meramec River corridor and some large sections of bottomland forest, so there’s quite a few of the migrating Neotropical warblers.”

Meramec River

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale