“Backpack and Camp in Laclede!”
Wander through a slice of pre-settlement landscape at Pershing State Park. The park includes a boardwalk and hiking trail that winds through a wet prairie near a meandering stream with oxbow sloughs and cutoffs, and into a bottomland forest. The park’s wetlands attract a variety of birds and waterfowl as well as scores of other wildlife species. Locust Creek and four small lakes give anglers a chance to try their skills and a shady campground with electric and basic campsites makes the park an ideal overnight location. Riparian refers to the land along rivers and streams and this trail follows the west bank of Locust Creek from the iron bridge to the northeast portion of Fountain Grove Conservation Area. It uses the boardwalk’s first .80 miles before branching off and paralleling Locust Creek before it terminates on Fountain Grove Conservation Area. The Riparian Trail is unique to north Missouri and it follows a meandering prairie stream with its associated oxbows and wetlands under a tall canopy of bottomland forest of oak, hickory, cottonwood, sycamore and silver maple in Locust Creek Natural Area. The type and amount of vegetation in this corridor have great influence on the water quality of the stream. Human settlement along rivers has replaced native vegetation with agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial developments, often to the detriment of the stream. Since the Riparian Trail is not a loop trail, hikers will need to plan for a pick-up at the south end, or drop a vehicle there first, similar to many canoe trips, to hike its full course. Short hikes are also encouraged by hiking in and out from the same location. Due to the potential of flooding along parts of this trail, users are encouraged to contact the park office or check the park’s web page for notices. Two trailheads also are located in Fountain Grove Conservation Area. One is at the parking area on the north end of the conservation area, which can be reached via Belt Road. The second is located off the auto tour route on the east side of the area, accessed on Crown Drive. About one mile of this trail is located on Missouri Department of Conservation property. Special rules, regulations and access may apply on Missouri Department of Conservation property.
A good campsite and friendly camp host
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Pershing State Park
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