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SPRING FORK LAKE (Sedalia)

Edge Wade, 2016
115 acres (lake only) Pettis Co.  DeLorme 36, G-2
GPS: 38.5626947,-93.2525166
Owned by Sedalia Water Department; for more information call 660-826-1234
Lake managed by agreement with MDC, call 660-530-5500

Directions: From US 65 south of Sedalia, go east on Rt. V for about 1.25 miles, then south (right) on Spring Fork Lake Road south, turn east (left) at the T intersection. Lake area entrance is on the west (right) about 1 mile beyond the T.

ADA Information: Privy and fishing dock are accessible. Beyond the parking lot, surfaces are unpredictable.

When to Visit/Species to Expect: This deepwater lake is the only one of its kind in the vicinity. Birders should check it when waterfowl are expected to be in mid-Missouri. A scope is necessary, as the waterfowl, including loons and diving ducks, tend to favor the far (west) side of the lake, away from most human activity. It is close to US 65, and the road to it is paved. It’s definitely worth more birder attention than it has received.

Features of interest to birders: Along the entrance road a savanna-like area offers easy viewing. A very short gravel road to the right (north) of the dam parking area makes a quick loop for driving or walking in a small ecotone area. The area at and along the dam offers some access to waterside birds. There is some upland wooded habitat accessible near the parking area by the dam. 

For the venturesome, the trailhead for a 1.9-mile old logging road cleared by Boy Scouts in 2006 is off the road near the dam parking area.

There is excellent riparian habitat near the one-lane bridge north of the lake entrance, but this is private land clearly signed no trespassing. Birding from the road can be very rewarding, but parking may be a problem.

Toilets: 1 privy

Camping: None 

Hazards/Limitations: This is a very popular fishing destination. There is a well-used shooting range just north of the lake.

Nearby Birding Sites: Mora Prairie CA, Friendly Prairie CA, Grandfather Prairie CA, Paint Brush Prairie CA*, Drovers Prairie CA, Hi Lonesome Prairie CA*, Clover Dell Park Lake*, Bothwell Lodge SHS*, Lamine River CA*.

*Birders’ Guide available.

Spring Fork map