Gayfeather Prairie, Vernon CountyPosted: August 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm
This 116 acre site in Vernon County was saved by MPF in 1976. MPF owns 76 acres here and the Missouri Department of Conservation owns an addition 40 acres that it purchased in 1984. The name is derived from the showy prairie flowers of the genus Liatris.
A total of 305 plant species have been recorded from the site. Gay Feather Prairie is cooperatively managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation and MPF.
Directions: Gayfeather Prairie is located in Vernon County on Union Track Road, about 7 miles east of Milo. From I-49, take exit 95 east on Highway E. Drive 7 miles, turn right (south) onto CR 2525, drive 2 miles, and then turn left onto Union Track Road. Park along the road in this area to visit the post oak savanna, or continue driving about one-third of a mile to the gravel parking lot, which is on the left. By GPS, N37 43.649 W94 10.480 (in decimal degrees, 37.72747 -94.17466).
The following Google Earth images are from 1996 and 2013. In the first image, extensive woody plant invasion can be noted along the road, in corners, and in the wet depressions and drainages of the prairie. Years of dedicated effort by MPF, including tree removal and prescribed burning, have restored the prairie to its former glory.
Gayfeather Prairie is open to the public for hiking, nature viewing, and hunting–state hunting regulations apply.