Jefferson Co, Mo — Outdoor enthusiasts in the St. Louis area now have a new slice of nature to discover and explore. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently opened the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family Conservation Area (CA) to the public.
Acquiring the 429-acre Glassberg CA was made possible through a donation from the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family and the USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program.
It is located within the watersheds of the Meramec River and LaBarque Creek. LaBarque Creek is one of the highest-quality stream systems in the St. Louis area. At least 42 species of fish live in the creek. This diversity is almost three times greater than that of any other Meramec River tributary below LaBarque. The new conservation area will be managed to help maintain the quality of the stream.
The Glassberg area itself lies in the Ozark border region, resulting in a variety of plant communities. These include upland dolomite/limestone woodlands, limestone/dolomite and sandstone forests, and bottomland forests along with old fields on the lower slopes. The woods are dominated by oaks, hickory, maple, and cedar with an understory of flowering dogwood and redbud.
Visitors to the area can enjoy nature viewing, hiking, and fishing. Beginning at the parking lot, 1.5 miles of existing service roads currently serve as a trail system, taking hikers through much of the Glassberg CA. There is also a vantage point overlooking the scenic Meramec River Valley. Future plans for the area include developing a dedicated loop hiking trail along with a viewing platform at the overlook.
There is also a half-mile loop hiking trail around the area’s three-acre Buder Lake. Approximately a half mile from the parking lot, the lake offers walk-up bank fishing using pole and line methods. Fishing enthusiasts can pursue the lake’s good population of largemouth bass and bluegill.
Hunting is not yet allowed on the area, and hunting regulations will be considered by the Conservation Commission.
Visitors to the area can also see the striking limestone dedication monument. The sculpture was designed by St. Louis artist and sculptor Gail Cassilly, who was assisted in the stone work by Paul Bayer.
The conservation area is closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. except for authorized fishing activities. No bicycling, ATV use, horseback riding, or camping is allowed on the area.
To reach the Myron and Sonya Glassberg Family Conservation Area from I-44 in Eureka, go south on Route W, then go 4.3 miles west on Highway FF. The area parking lot is on the right, or north, side of the road approximately 0.4 mile past the intersection of John McKeever Road and Highway FF.
More information on the area can be obtained by calling 636-458-2236, or online through the “Conservation Areas” link at mdc.mo.gov.