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BEN BRANCH LAKE CONSERVATION AREA
Edge Wade, August 2008
563 acres  Osage Co.  DeLorme 38, G-5
GPS:  38.5681314707,-91.7927660758
Map:  http://extra.mdc.mo.gov/documents/area_brochures/7824map.pdf
MDC owned; for information call 573-815-7900
 
Directions:  Northeast of Linn on MO 89, about 10 miles via US 50 and MO 89; main entrance on CR 314; west entrance (nearer dam) on CR 313.
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  Anytime.  Easy access to a variety of habitats provides opportunities to view forest and grassland species, summer nesters, migrating songbirds, wintering sparrows.  Lake should be checked for waterfowl from fall to spring; some surprises could be present.
 
Features of interest to birders:  Four parking areas along main road; 1 at end of CR 313 on west side of area
 
350 acres heavily wooded, primarily oak
 
Picnic area north of boatramp offers good view, access to brushy habitat
 
Grassland area on west side off CR 313
 
2 trails, one (about a half-mile) near the entrance off CR 314 leads to marsh area at northeast corner of lake; one (less than 1/4 mile) leads from near the parking area off CR 313 to low area below the dam.
 
Toilets:  3 pit toilets
 
Camping:  12-vehicle pull-off primitive camping area in loop off main road
 
Hazards/Limitations:  None apparent
 
Nearby Birding Sites:  Smoky Waters CA, Bonnots Mill Access, Bruns (Dr. Bernard) Access, Clark’s Hill/Norton SHS