Missouri Department of Conservation – Northeast Regional Office
Points of Interest:
Marvel at scenic views and large trees of the rugged Mississippi River hills.
Enjoy outstanding fall colors.
Look for spring wildflowers, a variety of woodpecker species and both migrant and breeding forest songbirds.
Natural Features Description:
The hollows of these rugged hills would have been much noisier between 1892 and 1932, the forty year period during which the DuPont Company operated an explosives plant near Ashburn. The company used these hollows for storage and production facilities that supplied dynamite for lead and zinc mines in the “tri-state area” (Joplin), coal mines in Illinois and even the Homestake Gold Mine in Colorado. In 1938 the recently formed Conservation Commission accepted a donation of the 1,118 acre plant as one of the Conservation Department’s first ownerships, the DuPont Reservation Conservation Area. Not much if any logging occurred on most of the natural area during the time the DuPont Company owned the land. Since 1938 not much has interrupted the growth of this mature forest. Today the Conservation Department is controlling the invasive, exotic bush honeysuckle on parts of this natural area and investigating future management options to maintain a component of oak in this forest for the future.
This natural area is within DuPont Reservation Conservation Area. From Louisiana, Missouri, travel north on scenic Highway 79 for about fifteen miles. After passing the intersection of Highway 79 and TT, continue north on 79 for another 1.9 miles and then turn right (east) on to the scenic overlook road. The natural area lies to the south of the overlook road. A map and compass are recommended to explore this area. Hunting is permitted.