Birding Site Guide to

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PICKLE SPRINGS NATURAL AREA
Edge Wade edgewATmchsicom March 2013
256 acres  Ste. Genevieve Co.  DeLorme 49, J-8
GPS:  37.8015675857,-90.301564609
MDC owned.  For information call:  573-290-5730
 
Directions:  From Farmington, at the junction of MO 32 and Rt. W, go east on MO 32 for 5 miles.  Turn right (east) onto Rt. AA for 1.7 miles to a left (north) onto Dorlac Rd. (gravel).  Go 0.4 mile to the parking lot on the right (east).
 
When to Visit/Species to Expect:  A trip here any time from mid-April through late May is sure to please with a good selection of migrant warblers (19 species have been reported, including Cape May and Bay-breasted).  As of early 2013, only thirteen reports have been filed for CACHE for a total of 79 species.  Many more species will be found by inquisitive, adventuresome birders.  Plan to spend at least two hours to walk the trail; longer would be better if looking for warblers.
 
Features of interest to birders:  The National Natural Landmark status is well-deserved.  The rugged sandstone features (balds, arches, hoodoos, waterfalls, fern-decked bluffs) present delights to the eye at every turn.  Glacial relict plant and animal species can be found while seeking birds in this mix of creek bottom and dry, rock habitats bedecked with white and black oak, shortleaf pine and understory low bush blueberry and farkleberry.
 
Toilets:  None
 
Camping:  None
 
Hazards/Limitations:  The 2-mile loop trail through the area is fairly difficult because of much up and down through rocky terrain.  This can be a very popular place for hikers and dog walkers on good weather weekends.
 
Nearby Birding Sites:  Hawn SP, Hickory Canyons NA, St. Francois SP, Perry County CL.