Birding Site Guide to

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MAPLE LEAF LAKE CONSERVATION AREA
Edge Wade, November 2010
826 acres  Lafayette Co.  DeLorme 35, A-8
GPS:  38.9978891966,-93.7903743946
Map:  http://extra.mdc.mo.gov/documents/area_brochures/8926map.pdf
MDC owned; for information call 816-228-3766
 
Directions:  From westbound I-70, take Exit #49 (MO 13), then go about 3 miles west on South I-70 Outer Access Road (a.k.a. Old Hwy. 40).  From eastbound I-70, take Exit #45 (Rt. H) and go east about a mile on South I-70 Outer Access Road (a.k.a. Old Hwy. 40).
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  Cold weather months can be especially productive.  Snow and Ross’s Geese join the Canadas to feed in the area in winter.  Ducks may be also present until freeze-up.  Loggerhead Shrikes have been found here in winter.  Sparrows are plentiful; Harris’s has been seen.  The many dead trees attract woodpeckers.
 
Features of interest to birders: 140-acre impoundment shaped is like a maple leaf, so there is a lot of shoreline.  At the east and west ends are silt basins with shallow water and dead standing trees; small ponds are throughout the area.  More than 500 acres are old field habitat; only 30 acres each in forest and non-prairie grassland.
 
A parking lot on South I-70 Outer Access Road (a.k.a. Old Hwy. 40)  provides an overview of the area.
 
The central area has fishing jetties and platforms that give good angles into the lake for viewing birds on the water.
 
A 4.5 mile interior access trail leads to several vantage points around the lake.
 
A 9-acre marsh below the dam may be reached by the interior access trail.  The shortest walk to it is from the parking lot on the east side of the lake.  This lot is reached by taking Chihuahua Rd. south from Old Hwy. 40 to a right turn (west) onto Hazel Dell Rd. to the parking lot.  The trail goes southwest from the lot to the marsh.  The marsh may be viewed from the dam (also reached by this stretch of the trail).
 
Toilets: 2 privies in central area
 
Camping:  Primitive youth group only (by special use permit)
 
Hazards/Limitations:  Entire area is closed to general public through the first Saturday of dove season for youth dove hunt.
 
Nearby Birding Sites:  Confederate Memorial SHS, Lake Venita (Odessa), Pape (Edwin A) Lake (Concordia), Perry (R & M) Mem. CA.