MDC to host 35th annual Poosey Conservation Area fall driving tour Oct. 17

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Chillicothe, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will welcome visitors to the 35th annual fall driving tour at the Poosey Conservation Area from noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. Visitors can enjoy the annual driving tour uphill and down on winding gravel roads through forest and woodlands. MDC will provide a tour brochure at the entrance and nature interpretive stops along the route. A portable sawmill will be cutting lumber from logs at the demonstration site.

This popular event allows people to ride or drive on area service roads that are normally closed to public vehicle traffic. A vehicle (or other mode of transport) with high clearance is recommended, as shallow creeks will be crossed. Each year the tour draws families and community groups riding on trailers or on wagons drawn by pickups or horses. Couples in horse-drawn buggies are common, as are youngsters on horseback. Cars and the occasional bicyclist also take the tour on the gravel roads.

Visitors enjoy driving or riding slowly to see the fall foliage. The tour traverses rugged terrain with some steep uphill climbs and downhill descents. The tour begins at Pike’s Lake. An entrance to the lake can be found off Route W and County Road 502. Gates open at noon and the last vehicle for the driving tour will be allowed to begin at 4 p.m. 

MDC requests that visitors observe COVID-19 precautions such as physical distancing when exiting vehicles to view exhibits or when hiking near others, such as at the trail to the limestone outcropping called the Panther’s Den.

For tour information, contact MDC Resource Forester Samantha Anderson, 660-646-6122. Maps and information about Poosey Conservation Area are at

To learn more about conservation in Missouri, visit