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REIFSNIDER (FRANK, EMMA, ELIZABETH, AND EDNA) STATE FOREST

Carol Thompson, June 2022

1389 acres Warren Co. DeLorme 39, 10-D

GPS:38.769849, -91.091077

MDC owned; for information call (636) 456-3368

Map:https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/frank-emma-elizabeth-edna-reifsnider-state-forest

Directions: From I-70 west, Exit 193 (Warrenton). South on MO 47 to Hwy. M (0.7 mi), east on M to Schuetzenground Rd (2.7 mi), south to entrance (2.8 mi).

From I-70 east, Exit 199 (Wright City), go south on Hwy. H to Hwy. M (about 2.7 miles), west on M to Schuetzenground Rd (about 2 miles), south to entrance (2.7 mi)

When to Visit/Species to Expect: All seasons will produce resident populations of typical east-central Missouri woodland. Twenty plus species of warblers, Winter Wren, both kinglets, American Woodcock during spring migration.

Breeding warblers include Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Blue-winged, Worm-eating, Kentucky and Hooded. Other breeders are Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Yellow-breasted Chat, Eastern Towhee, Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted and Blue Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole.

The area is under-birded, especially since it is in the 50-mile St. Louis “circle”. 

Features of interest to birders: Mostly oak-hickory forest with upland, steep hills, and riparian areas. There is a brushy, more open area near the back (northwest portion). North Fork of Charrette Creek runs through the area, a lovely limestone stream. During less rainy periods one can easily walk along/in the creek. There is a small lake near the middle of the area (which is apparently of no interest to waterfowl).

The road is 2.2 miles long from the entrance to the back of the area; walking the road is often the best birding. Alternately, stop at any of the pull-outs and walk. From the entrance parking to the stream is often very good birding. There is a 1.3-mile nature trail as well as a number of access trails. The nature trail crosses the stream several times, is not always well-marked and may not always be doable especially after big rains. The access trails are not maintained outside of hunting seasons.

Toilets: One privy near lake

Camping: Primitive sites at some parking areas.

Hazards/Limitations: To access most of the area, you must drive across an unpaved, at grade stream crossing (0.5 mi. from entrance), doable most of the time in a moderate-clearance vehicle. The road (steep in places) is often closed if there is snow or ice. There is a heavily used shooting range present (in an old clay pit), the noise from which is unavoidable in most of the area. The shooting range is closed for maintenance on Monday mornings till noon. The area has rugged terrain, about 220 feet of elevation change along the road. It is a popular hunting destination, especially for deer and turkey.

Nearby Birding Sites: Little Lost Creek CA, Daniel Boone CA. For the more adventurous, you can drive south on Schuetzenground/Charrette Creek Road which follows the stream along a deep wooded canyon and dumps out at Highway 47, just north of Marthasville. It is well worth the drive.