Facilities

Area Wide

Prairie Fork Conservation Area boasts 911 acres of prairie, savanna, woodland, pond, wetland, stream and forest habitats to explore and learn about. 

Main Entrance Sign
Main Entrance Prairie Fork

Parking Lots

Accessible From Road Entrances (Open Access)

  • P1- MPF Seed Barn 4202 State Rd D. –Observe signs, do not park in front of barn doors or access roads, as staff and volunteers may need access 7 days a week. Bus parking is available.
  • P2- AB Parking Lot-
  • P3-Twin Oaks-
  • P4-D South Parking Lot: corner of HWY D and County Road 162

Accessible From Inside the Main Gates (Locked Access Unless Scheduled Accordingly)

  • P5-Main Group parking area. With overflow parking when dry in the grass field south of the wood barn
  • P6-Office parking (limited, please keep driveway loop open)
  • P7-East Ridge Parking Lot (Access through main/group entrance)
  • B1- Bus Parking Area 1
  • B2-Bus Parking Area 2

Water Hydrants

Callaway County Water is Available at all 5 Locations

Trails

Area Access Trails: Mowed access trails and gravel roads go through and border the edge of the property lines used for management & research needs. These trails go through all habitats.

Education Area Trails: Six designated trails that are between 1/2 mile and 1 1/2 miles. Five of the trails are mowed pathways, and one is graveled with crushed rock. These trails are designated with metal post spray painted top to bottom according to trail color. All other posts on the site signify research plots. (Maps for areas one and two are provided upon request)

Orienteering Trail: The Prairie Fork Orienteering course is in the woodland near the Purple Trail. The course was designed to meet the requirements of the orienteering Boy Scout merit badge. The course consists of 20 markers numbered 1-20. Generally, the markers get harder to find as the number gets larger. The markers are on short plexiglass rods with orange or pink paint at the top and a tag wired on. Each tag has a letter that, if you find them all, they unscramble to spell out a phrase. (Map available upon request)

Area #1

Area #1 is a well-developed area has three hiking trails (blue, green, and gold) that will take you through reconstructed prairie, forest, ponds, wetlands, and near Prairie Fork Creek. All three Outdoor Classrooms (OC) in this area have wooden benches. This area also includes the Teaching Pavilion, with educational plant and animal imprints on the floor.

Gold Trail – (1.5 miles, Short Loop ½ mile) focused on Prairie habitat (OC #3)
Blue Trail – (½ mile) graveled trail around Crow Pond focused on Pond, Forest habitat (OC #1)
Green Trail – (½ mile) focused on Forest habitat (OC #2)

Picnic Area: This area seats 125 comfortably. We have trash cans, recycling, and composting options available upon request.

BBQ Pit: This is a replica of the BBQ pit owned and used by Ted and Pat Jones and is equipped with adjustable grills. 

Bonfire Ring – Available in Area 1 when fires are allowed. 

 

Area 1: Picnic Facilities

Area 1 BBQ Pit 01

Area 1: BBQ

Area 1

Area 1: Common Use

Bathrooms: pit toilet is available year-round. Porta-Potties are available for rent with large groups.

Parking: Bus parking is separate from general parking at the L-shaped barn.

Teaching Pavilion: This 24′ x 40′ pavilion has benches for seating, lights & fans, and electrical outlets. The trees harvested as lumber for the pavilion were planted by Ted and Pat Jones in the 1950’s. The floor is imprinted with native plant and animal tracks for educational use.

Native Plant Gardens: designated gardens strewn throughout Area 1.

Outdoor Classroom one dip netting

Area 1: Outdoor Classroom #1 with Dipnetting

Outdoor Classroom two

Area 1: Outdoor Classroom #2

Outdoor Classroom Three

Area 1:Outdoor Classroom #3

Naturalist Shed: Small shed that holds teaching items. It can seat ten students comfortably in inclement weather.

Nature Explore Area: Hands-on exploration for Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on using the five senses with natural items.

Soil Core Wall/Soil Shed: The soil core is on permanent display in the Soil Shed, showcasing various soil types and glacial events that occurred in the area. This 60-foot soil core taken from the northern portion of the property dates back nearly one million years. The Missouri Association of Professional Soil Scientists has other soil displays and activities available upon request.

Teaching Pavilion Area 1

Area 1: Teaching Paviloin 

Naturalist Shed 1

Area 1: Naturalist Shed

Soil Shed Area 1

Area 1: Soil Shed

Area #2

Area #2  has three hiking trails (orange, silver, and purple) that take you through restored prairie, forest, ponds, wetland, and near the Prairie Fork Creek. This area also includes our Education Building, which can be set up with tables and chairs. Outdoor classrooms (OC #4) located along the orange and purple trails.

Purple Trail – (1.6 miles) focused in Woodland, Prairie habitat and Ephemeral pond
Silver Trail – (1.1 miles) focused in Woodland & Savanna habitat
Orange Trail – (1.2 miles) focused in Prairie habitat, Woodland edge and Ephemeral pond (Outdoor Classroom #4)

Picnic Area – This area seats 100 comfortably. We have trash cans, recycling, and composting options available upon request.

Area 2 BBQ grill fire ring

Area 2: Grill Fire Ring

Area 2 Trails

Area 2: Trails

Area 2 Camping

Area 2: Camping

Bathrooms: Porta-Potties available for rent with large groups.

Parking: Bus parking is separate from general parking at the L-shaped barn.

BBQ Grill: metal grill at ground level

Education Building: An enclosed and insulated metal building with an open area for teaching. There are three bay doors that can be opened to see outside. Tables and chairs are available for a variety of setups. 27’ x 27’ (size for seating)

Area 2 Edu Bldg

Area 2: Education Building

Outdoor Classroom 4

Area 2: Outdoor Classroom

MPF Expansion Area

Seed Barn

Parking: Observe signs, do not park in front of barn doors or access roads as staff and volunteers may need access 7 days a week. Bus parking is available.

Buildings

Meeting Room
Our office building offers a meeting room with a full kitchen, two bathrooms, a fireplace, and WiFi. Lunches can be prepared onsite or catered by local vendors. The meeting room seats 15 people comfortably and can hold up to 25.
There is room for 2-3 break-out rooms. There is a library & herbarium available for researchers.
Native Plant Garden with labels around the building.

Teaching Pavilion
This 24′ x 40′ pavilion has benches for seating, lights & fans, and electrical outlets. The trees harvested as lumber for the pavilion were planted by Ted and Pat Jones on site in the 1950’s. The floor is imprinted with native plant and animal tracks for educational use.

Education Building
An enclosed and insulated metal building with an open area for teaching roughly 27’ x 27’. There are three bay doors that can be opened to see outside. This building has heaters and fans. Tables and chairs are available for a variety of setups. Restrooms are porta potties located outside when ordered.

Outdoor Classrooms
We have several well-defined Outdoor Classrooms. These classrooms are located on our six education trails and each has wooden benches in place.

Soil Core Wall / Soil Shed
The soil core is on permanent display in the Soil Shed, where it showcases a variety of different soil types and glacial events that occurred on the area. This 60-foot soil core taken from the northern portion of the property dates back nearly one million years. The Missouri Association of Professional Soil Scientists has other soil displays and activities available upon request.

Naturalist Shed
Small shed that holds requested teaching items. The shed can seat 10 students comfortably in inclement weather.

BBQ Pit
The BBQ Pit located in Area 1 is a replica of the BBQ pit owned and used by Ted and Pat Jones and is equipped with adjustable grills.

Campfire Ring– Area 2
Bonfire Ring – Area 1

Teaching Pavilion 2

Teaching Pavilion

Area 2 Edu Bldg

Education Building

Soil Shed Area 1

Soil Shed

Naturalist Shed 1

Naturalist Shed

Camping

Camping Areas 1, 2, 3 & 4
These camping sites are available for use by Scouts and groups of 10 or more. We have a Leave No Trace policy across our area.

Some amenities include picnic tables/benches (area 1, & 2), water hydrants (area 1, 2 & 3), a stone barbeque pit (area 1), a bonfire ring (area 1), a camp fire ring (area 2 & 4), an orienteering trail, and a pit toilet (area 1). A more detailed packet of information is available upon request.

Toilets: Prairie Fork provides pit a toilet for year-round use in Area 1. Porta-Potties are available for rent with groups.

Area 2 campout
Area 2 Camping
Campsite 3