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Valley View Glades Natural area is a 225-acre area three miles west of Hillsboro on Hwy B . Access is from Hwy B and a parking area is located on the north side of the highway.( Trail Head/ Parking quadrants N38 15.326 W090 37.629)
Valley View Glades Natural Area is in central Jefferson County. The 225-acre Valley View Glades area is part of a large complex of glades starting just east of the Big River, near Morse Mill and extending eastward and beyond Hillsboro and Desoto, to Festus, then south into Ste. Genevieve County. This large complex of glades occurs in a band 2 to 5 miles wide.
These glades are principally on Jefferson City-Cotter dolomite of Ordivician age. An example of a dolomite out crop is located @ N38 15.453 W090 37.624.
The Jefferson County glades are commonly found on south and southwest-facing slopes with forested ridges and are characterized by thin soil and bedrock at or near the surface. Water saturates the ground in winter and spring, but soils become droughty in summer and fall.
These glades have been only lightly disturbed by human activity, which has preserved the natural beauty of the location. The plants and animals here are similar to what was here at the time of settlement. The glades are dominated by little bluestem, Indian grass, big bluestem and prairie dropseed. Other plants although not as dominant as the grasses, provide good wildlife food and add beautiful color to the glades during seasonal peaks of blooming including the Fremont's leather flower which occurs only in this part of Missouri.
There are a few areas dominated by blackjack oak. Many other trees and shrubs such as eastern red cedar, post oak, flowering dogwood and sumac can also be found here. To preserve the glades from being overtaking by cedar trees and destroying the natural beauty of some rare and beautiful plants The Missouri Department of conservation periodically conducts controlled burns.
The wooded portions of the area occur on less than optimal growing sites. The thin, rocky soil produces dwarfed, often short-lived trees. However his forest is one of the least disturbed of its type in this region.
The small intermittent streams, which drain the glades add diversity to the area. For such a small area, remarkable examples exist of stream ledges, waterfalls, overhangs, and pools. You will find all types of wild life in the area, various snakes, lizards, scorpions, and beetles, call this area home. Larger animals such as squirrels, turkey, and white tail deer are also plentiful in the area. However Hunting is only permitted with a shotgun and Deer are limed by sex and size and can only be harvested with a Bow and arrow.
To log this cache you will have to walk about 2 miles round trip and will take an hour or more. You will walk up and down some steep hills however the terrain is not so bad that you have to be a marathon runner to complete the trail, my dad (great eagle) is 55yrs young he took the pictures for me, and had no trouble completing the journey. Also Hunting is permitted in the area. If you go during Deer Season you may want to wear orange, however you will not find may hunters in the area so do not let this scare you off.
You may not want to attempt after a heavy rain or you will get your feet wet along the way. You could easily spent half a day here taking in all the beauty and taking pictures, there is plenty of reason to compete the rest of the trail after the cache requirements have been met. However please do not take any wildlife or rocks home with you. Instead take pictures that will last a lifetime. Nuts, berries, mushrooms and wild greens may be harvested for personal use but removing any other vegetation is prohibited.
Please be courteous when visiting this earth cache. Remember it is a designated natural area, and for it to stay preserved so that other visitors can enjoy it you must respect it for what it is and follow the #1 principal of Earth Caches “Leave no Trace”. Be sure to stay on the trails and follow all of the posted rules of the area. THIS IS AN EARTH CACHE AND THEIR IS NO PHYSICAL CONTAINER ONSITE!!!
To log this cache as a find you must take a picture of yourself and your GPS at the coordinates listed below, and answer the following questions. E-mail me the answers and post the pictures in your log. Any answers or spoilers posted in the log will cause the log to be deleted. ANY LOG WITHOUT PICTURES IN THE LISTED AREAS WILL BE DELETED!! I will not accept pictures of a hand or just a GPS. I understand that sometimes we cache alone, but at least take a picture of yourself with the feature in the back ground.
Picture #1 Oak tree N38 15.376 W090 37.628
Picture #2 Rock ledge N38 15.453 W090 37.624
Picture #3 Glade and lone tree final destination N38 15.682 W090 37.657
1.What prevents cedar trees from taking over the glade?
2.What type of rock outcrop are you looking at in picture #2?
3.What is the name of the flower found only in this area of Missouri?
( You Must answer one of the following questions or your log will be deleted)
1. What is the differance in distance from the Trail Head to the final waypoint (The Glade Picture #3) in Air miles VS actual distance walking the trail?
2. What is the length of the rock outcrop located @ N38 15.453 W090 37..624 (Picture # 2)
I would like to thank Paul Whitsell from The Missouri Department of Conservation for allowing me to place this Earth Cache.
Also I would like to remind all Cachers to respect his request to stay on the posted trails and not to disrupt the natural beauty of the area!!
(No hints available.)