General Watkins Conservation Area

About this Area

For more information call
(573) 290-5730
Total Acres

General Watkins Conservation Area is in Scott County, 14 miles north of Sikeston and 15 miles south of Cape Girardeau. The area can be reached from Highway 61 and Highway 77 and from county gravel roads.
General Watkins Conservation Area contains a forest type more closely resembling Appalachian than Missouri forests. Sweetgum, American beech, cucumber tree and tulip poplar are found here, along with tree species more common to Missouri, like white and red oak, maple, hickory and walnut. This mesic beech-oak forest type has spicebush, dogwood and paw paw growing in the shrub layer. The ground layer is dominated by Virginia creeper and poison ivy and also includes Christmas fern, broad beech fern and the state-rare beech drops and Virginia pennywort. Beech drops are brown-purple and grow only in beech forests; they are parasitic on beech roots. The pale green pennywort has pale lilac flowers in early spring but is difficult to find being only a few inches tall.
Natural erosion has worn steep-sided canyons up to 50 feet deep through the area's loess soils. People walking near these canyons should be cautious. During your visit to General Watkins Conservation Area, you may view various forest management practices designed to improve wildlife habitat, maintain watershed quality and enhance tree growth, quality and species composition.
Wildlife management practices on Conservation Department lands include planting fields to serve as food sources for animals and the periodic harvest of timber to perpetuate the forest community and improve forage and cover for wildlife.

Things to do when you visit: 
  • Bird Watching
  • Hunting
    • Quail,
    • Deer,
    • Rabbit,
    • Squirrel,
    • Turkey
  • Fishing
    • Black Bass,
    • Catfish,
    • Crappie,
    • Sunfish
  • Camping
    • Designated Camping Sites,
    • Individual Campsites
  • Trails
    • Hiking
  • Boat LandingBoat Landing
  • Camping SiteCamping Site
  • Entry PointEntry Point
  • Managed Public WaterbodyManaged Public Waterbody
  • Parking LotParking Lot
  • Picnic AreaPicnic Area
  • Hiking TrailHiking Trail
  • BoundaryBoundary
  • MDC Road - ServiceMDC Road - Service
  • MDC Road - ImprovedMDC Road - Improved

Hours of Operation

Area Hours
Sunday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
From Benton, take Highway 61 south 3 miles to the south side of the area. From Oran, take Highway 77 south 1.50 miles to the west side of the area.
Area Regulations
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information