Points of Interest:
- Wander along and wade fish a scenic Ozark border stream.
- Look and listen for a variety of songbirds.
Natural Features Description:
Whetstone Creek has its headwaters in former prairie plains to the west. Here it downcuts through Mississippian and Devonian period limestones. This small third order stream consists of short, well-defined riffles and long, deep pools. Chert gravel occurs in the riffles and pool bottoms consist of sands and silts. The stream supports over 20 native fish species including the blacknose shiner, a species of conservation concern. The blacknose shiner depends on good-quality stream habitat without excessive siltation and turbidity. Because the upper watershed of Whestone Creek is privately owned the conservation of this stream is dependent on land-use decisions of private landowners upstream. Other fishes in the stream include longear sunfish, green sunfish, gizzard shad, bigeye shiner, and red shiner. Along the riparian corridor and associated forests on the short bluffs keep a look out for the belted kingfisher, northern parula, warbling vireo, and Kentucky warbler.
This natural area is within Whetstone Creek Conservation Area. From Williamsburg, head west on Highway D for a half mile. Turn right (north) on to County Road 1003 (gravel) and head north for a mile to the conservation area entrance. Continue north on the area road for a quarter mile. Here turn left at the “Y” intersection and proceed north for about 2.5 miles to the parking lot north of Big Lake. Park here and follow the area access trail north down to the creek. Hunting and fishing are permitted. A map and compass are recommended for exploration.