Dark Hollow Natural Area
Points of Interest:
- See a slice of the historic Chariton River Hills landscape with post oaks and prairie plants on the dry ridge tops to basswood and ferns at the base of steep north and east facing ravines.
- Enjoy seeing 150 year old oaks.
- Look for spring wildflowers in the forest on the north side of the area and summer blooming wildflowers in the savanna/woodland restoration unit on the south side.
Natural Features Description: None other than the botanist Julian Steyermark, author of the first Flora of Missouri, recognized this site as having value for its varied plant life back in 1954. This area was historically a transition zone between savannas and prairies to the south and forests on the hills and bottoms along Spring Creek to the north. In the spring the lower north facing slopes put on a show of ephemeral spring wildflowers including bellwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and wild ginger. In contrast to the fern rich forest of the ravine bottoms, the dry ridges support little bluestem, finger coreopsis, wild quinine and other fire-adapted species of prairies, savannas and open woodlands. Look and listen for eastern wood-pewee and summer tanager along the ridges.
From Green City, head north on Highway 129 for 1.75 miles. At this point Highway 129 makes a sharp turn to the west. Instead of heading west, head north on Hedge Drive (gravel) for two miles to the area parking lot on the right (east) side of the road. A map and compass are recommended to explore this area. Hunting is permitted.