Points of Interest:
- Enjoy a scenic, canyon-like, Ozark valley.
- Look down upon steep bluffs to a picturesque Ozark stream.
- Explore the moist valley of Barn Hollow home to a diverse plant community.
Natural History: Traveling north from Mountain View to Barn Hollow you will go from the gently rolling terrain of the Ozark plateau to the deeply dissected terrain of the Jacks Fork River valley. Millenia of down-cutting stream erosion and uplift of the Ozark plateau have created this valley. Barn Hollow contains steep vertical bluffs of dolomite up to 100 feet tall and follows a deeply entrenched and meandering stream course before Barn Hollow creek drains into the Jacks Fork River. This canyon-like hollow contains a picturesque, clear Ozark headwater stream with small deep pools, short riffles, and beaver ponds. Along the creek and on the moist north facing bluffs grow a number of plant species more common in states to the north of Missouri, such as forked aster.
During the summer look and listen for the Louisiana waterthrush along the creek valley. Eastern phoebes often nest along the bluffs as well. There is quite a contrast from the dry woodlands on the ridge top and south and west facing slopes in comparison to the cool, shaded creek valley and the north facing bluffs. A population of the ringed salamander, a species only found in the Ozarks, is known to utilize the natural area for part of its life cycle. Southern leopard frogs, pickerel frogs, Blanchard’s cricket frogs, slimy salamanders, and cave salamanders also make the cool moist valley of Barn Hollow their home. A number of small caves and dolomite boulders along the valley slopes add to the geological interest of the site.
Just to the north of the natural area and Barn Hollow is land now owned by the Conservation Department but previously owned by Sue Hubbell, a well-known writer. Sue Hubbell wrote A Country Year: Living the Questions while living on the farmstead just north of Barn Hollow. Ms. Hubbell raised bees on the farm and wrote about her life in the Ozarks. The book was originally published by Random House, Inc. in 1986.
From Mountain View travel north on Highway Y for 1 mile and proceed north on County Road 3530 for another 1.25 miles. Then go east on County Road 3940 for 1 mile and look for the parking lot. From the parking lot a short 0.5 mile trail leads to an overlook over Barn Hollow. Hunting and fishing are permitted.