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Rocky Barrens is a great place for an evening
stroll, a short hike, or a fossil hunt. Its highest
points overlook some very nice views of the
wooded countryside.This 281 acre site is a lime-
stone glade ecosystem with thin, rapidly draining
soils in which you'll find lots of exposed lime-
stone bedrock.
Rocky Barrens is managed through a partner-
ship between The Nature Conservancy and The
Missouri Department of Conservation.They are
working to protect the Missouri bladderpod, an
endangered species found in only four counties
in southwest Missouri.This small mustard plant
flowers in April and May. Prescribed burns to
control non-native species and cedar tree
removal are ongoing projects on the property.
Limited hunting is allowed here and two access
roads provide a place to hike.
Rocky Barrens
Conservation Area
Farm Road 105
east of Willard, MO
Missouri Department
of Conservation
417 895-6880
daylight hours
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1. As you hike, look for exposed limestone
bedrock, particularly where the two roads cross.
Search the rocks for fossils. Can you find one
like the picture?
2. Can you see examples of human impact like
trash at the trailhead or along the trail?
What can you do to help prevent damage to the
land caused by humans?
3. Visit in the spring and look for the Missouri
bladder-pod. Why should you not trample on or
pick this flower?
4. Look for an area that has been burned in the
past. How are the plants growing there different
from the plants growing where it has not been
burned? How do these "prescribed burns" help
the native plants?
Travel north on Kansas
Expressway from the
corner of Kansas
Expressway and Kearney
until in turns into Hwy 13.
Go north on Hwy 13 to
Hwy O. Follow Hwy O
west. The conservation
area is along Farm Road
105. Or take Hwy 160 to
Willard, then go east on
Hwy O to Farm Road 105.