Points of Interest:
- Explore one of Missouri’s best and last cypress ponds.
- See ancient bald cypress trees over 500 years old.
- Listen to the chorus of “honking” sounds of green treefrogs on warm spring evenings.
Natural Features Description:
Allred Lake is a small remnant of the once vast network of swamps and bottomland forests that once covered the Mississippi Lowlands of southeast Missouri. Here you can experience a natural scene similar to that found in Louisiana and other gulf coast states. Cypress, water tupelo, overcup oak, and water locust ring the slough called Allred Lake. Mature bald cypress trees are highly tolerant of saturated or flooded soils. The cones and scales float which is the primary method of seed dispersal. The wood of mature cypress is very rot resistant and is desired for fencing, boat planking, piers, siding and shingles.
On drier ground of the bottomland forests, surrounding the sloughs, look for the stunning blooms of spider lilies in the summer months. In the sloughs swim fishes at the northern edge of their range, the taillight shiner and the cypress darter. Look and listen for prothonotary warblers, wood ducks, green herons and barred owls here.
From Neelyville, travel east on Highway 142 about 5 miles. Then turn right (south) onto Highway H. Travel south on Highway H for 2.5 miles. At this point Highway H ends and a gravel county road begins. Follow this gravel county road for a half mile. Then turn left (south) onto another gravel road and follow this less than a half mile to the entrance of the area on your left (east) side. From the area parking lot a short trail leads to a boardwalk and overlook above the slough waters. Fishing is not permitted here due to the rare fish species inhabiting the small slough.