Mount Vernon Prairie
Points of Interest:
- Explore a remnant prairie of what was once a larger prairie landscape known as the “Ozark Prairie.”
- Catch the blooms of a variety of prairie wildflowers including the eye-catching fringed poppy mallow.
Natural Features Description: In the 1800s a large prairie stretched from here for two miles to the east and three miles to the north. Settlers called this part of the “Ozark Prairie.” Today only this small prairie remnant remains. Developed on soils weathered from cherty limestone, this prairie, while small, contains a good variety of characteristic prairie wildflowers. Blue wild indigo, pale purple coneflower, rattlesnake master, fringed poppy mallow, lead plant, sky blue aster and downy gentian can all be found here. Ornate box turtles have also been observed.
This natural area is owned by The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has protected over 145,000 acres of critical lands and waters in the state. The Nature Conservancy has been and continues to be a valuable conservation partner in the effort to conserve Missouri’s natural communities. For more information see http://www.nature.org/ouriniti
This natural area is part of Mt. Vernon Prairie Conservation Area. From Mt. Vernon, travel north on Highway 39 and then turn right (east) on to Highway 174. Head east on Highway 174 for 2.25 miles. Then turn left (north) on to County Road 1150. Head north on County Road 1150. In one mile you’ll come to a “T” intersection. Turn left (west) and then turn back right (north) on to County Road 1150 in less than a tenth of a mile. From the intersection of County Road 1150 and County Road 2100, head north on 1150 for a half mile to the parking lot on the left (west).