Chillicothe, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host the 30th annual fall driving tour through rugged hills and forest at the Poosey Conservation Area on Sunday, Oct. 16. Visitors can enjoy autumn color and drive on roads that are normally not open to vehicles. Exhibits and conservation displays will be found along the route. Gates for the free event will open at noon and the last vehicle will be allowed to begin at 4 p.m. The tour route passes through a historical site once known as the Poosey community.
This year’s tour will have exhibits and presentations on the history of the area, said Bryan Gragg, MDC forestry regional supervisor. One topic will be the pioneer settlement history of the rugged hills within the area. Early settlers were more attracted to forested areas than the open prairie, so the “Kingdom of Poosey” was utilized by pioneers along the line now separating Livingston and Grundy counties. But the tour will also feature MDC’s history managing the area, including providing fishing in lakes and wildlife habitat management approaches through the years.
The fall tour is through the hilly, forested part of the area. But the southern portion of the area receives special habitat management for bobwhite quail and other grassland species.
For the tour, all roads are graded and graveled. However, some sections of the tour route involve steep slopes and crossings in low areas. Four-wheel drive and high-clearance vehicles are recommended. Visitors should allow time for stops to enjoy scenery and discussions at exhibit areas.