Springs Natural Area is a deep, forested gorge consisting of geological
formations and plants that are found in few other places. Visitors will
find examples of a sandstone glade, talus, forest, savanna, as well as a
number of rare species of plants and animals. The area is noted for its
blooming wild azalea (photo left) and wildflowers in the spring. According to local legend, the area is named
after William Pickles, a settler from Illinois who owned the land until he
was shot by a band of renegades during the Civil War. Pickle Springs and
other area creeks flow into Pickle Creek, which in turn traverses into Hawn
a National Natural Landmark, Pickle Springs Natural Area features a 2
mile hiking trail maintained by the East Ozark Audubon Society in
cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation. This two-mile
journey has an estimated hiking time of 1 hour and takes hikers past
waterfalls, rock shelters, a double arch (photo right), towering bluffs,
canyons and amazing rock outcrops. Wooden bridges along the trail aid
hikers past troublesome spots. The moist soil in the canyons and along the
creeks allows the growth of many ferns and rare plants, including cinnamon
fern, maidenhair fern, hay-scented fern and club moss. A variety of
woodland songbirds can be seen from the trail. Fence lizards, five-lined
skinks, box turtles and leopard frogs can be found among the rocks in the
Pickle Springs Natural Area is listed on the National Audubon Society's
River Birding Trail. They report that they found 73 bird species including
43 probable and 15 confirmed breeding species. Pine Warblers may be seen
in summer as well as tanagers and other forest birds.
The Missouri Audubon Society
checklist for birds that can be seen in this area.
Springs Natural Area
4 am - 10 pm daily
There is no charge to visit Pickle Springs
Directions: Pickle Springs Natural Area is
located on Dorlac Road. Follow MO-32 west of Sainte
Genevieve from the junction at I-55 past Hawn State Park to County
Road AA. Follow AA about 1 mile to Dorlac Road and then about 1/2
mile along this gravel road to the parking lot at the trailhead.
N 37° 48.093'
W 90° 18.112'
Learn more about the Sainte Genevieve