Places To Go

Trail Guide: High Cotton for Birders

Area Name: Little Dixie CA

Trails: Three, totaling nearly 11 miles

Unique features: Diverse bird life

For more information: Call (573) 884-6861 or visit our online atlas, keyword "Dixie".

Birdwatchers are in high cotton at this diverse area in northwestern Callaway County. Habitats from lake, wetlands and fishless ponds to oak-hickory forests and old fields attract a wide variety of birds. Documented sightings include ospreys, white-winged scoters, bald eagles, double-crested cormorants, common loons and a host of more common waterfowl, birds of prey and songbirds. Nearly 11 miles of trails provide access to this birding feast. The 6-mile Boundary Trail follows a dirt road encircling 205-acre Little Dixie Lake. A 2-mile portion of the Shoreline Trail meanders north from the main parking lot near the lake’s southwestern end through forest and field to a parking area northwest of the lake. Visitors with mobility impairments will find the paved Dixie Woods Nature Trail best-suited for their use. This .4-mile loop has benches for resting and interpretive signs describing the area’s natural communities.

Calling All Rockwoods Lovers

Help keep this fabulous area rockin’.

St. Louis area residents who love Rockwoods Reservation can help keep this premier hiking destination in western St. Louis County a natural treasure. Starting April 4, you can reserve your place in the first Rockwoods Habitat Restoration Day, scheduled for April 19. Volunteers will help area staff control invasive plants that are damaging the area. The event is open to volunteers age 7 and older. It is an excellent project for scouts, organized civic groups, and families. Call (636) 458-2236 for reservations.

Moniteau Creek

Catch hefty flatheads and feisty panfish.

Some of Missouri’s biggest fishing fun is found on small streams. Central Missouri’s Moniteau Creek is a good example. The best fishing is in the 20 miles or so from Highway O in southeastern Cooper County to Marion Access in Cole County. Motor boats might be able to go as far as Haldiman Branch, a northern tributary that diverges four or five miles upstream from the Missouri River. From there on you need a canoe or a kayak. The deep, still water between Highway 179 and the mouth of Moniteau Creek holds flathead and channel catfish, common carp, gar and largemouth bass. Big-river species grow less common the farther you go upstream, and bluegill, longear and orangespot sunfish become more common. Wade-fishing the upper portion of the creek can produce nice messes of panfish and bass. Ask permission before crossing private land.