Kelso Sanctuary


Broad Beech Fern
Designated as a natural area since
Cape Girardeau
Audubon Society of Missouri
Department of Biology, Southeast Missouri State University
Contact Phone

Points of Interest:

  • See the westernmost extent of the western mesophytic phase of the eastern deciduous forest with beech and tulip poplar trees.
  • Test your woody plant identification skills with over 40 tree and shrub species present.

Natural Features Description:

This small patch of rich forest on the north end of Cape Girardeau is a good place to see a variety of tree species including native beech and poplar. Being near the Mississippi River, these wooded hills are a good place to see a variety of migrating songbirds in the spring. Migrating songbirds include a number of warbler species. Resident woodpeckers including red-bellied, hairy, downy and pileated can be seen. Maidenhair, Christmas and broad beech fern grow here.

Access Info

This area is owned by the Audubon Society of Missouri and managed by Southeast Missouri State’s Biology Department. Access to this area is through Juden Creek Conservation Area. Take Highway 177 (Big Bend Road) north through Cape Girardeau. At the north edge of town, turn east (right) on to old Missouri Route V and proceed just a quarter mile. Then turn right (south) on to Cape Rock Road. In a third mile find the parking area on the right (west). A hiking trail leads from the parking area heading west to the natural area. You will pass through Twin Trees Park and Juden Creek Conservation Area before reaching the natural area.