University Forest Conservation Area is in Wayne and Butler counties. The area is located near the south side of Lake Wappapello and is approximately 10 miles north of Poplar Bluff. Visitors can acess the area from Routes W, KK, and T in Butler County and Highway 172 and Route W in Wayne County.
This 7,149-acre area was originally endowed to the University of Missouri by the federal government as part of the Agriculture College Act of 1862. The School of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife took responsibility for the area in the early 1900s and in 1946 began managing the area for research and as a forestry summer camp. The Conservation Department acquired the area in 1988 for the purposes of continuing forest research, creating forest products, woodland related recreation opportunities for the public, and to demonstrate the effects of forest management.
The area primarily consists of oak-hickory forest with a scattering of shortleaf pine forest. Tree species include black oak, scarlet oak, hickory, maple, and dogwood. The forest provides habitat for deer, turkey, pileated woodpeckers, squirrels, and other typical Ozark wildlife.