Open to the Public
Hiking, bird watching, wildflower viewing, exploring. View All
Tips and guidelines for visiting this preserve.View All
At least 15 different fen communities of various types are found at Grasshopper Hollow. A fen is a low, marsh-like area where water plays an important role in how the ecosystem functions. It is usually very wet and grassy with a variety of plant and animal species.
Why You Should Visit
This is the largest, most significant fen complex in unglaciated North America. Its wet, stony ground (in knee-deep water) is laced with beaver runs among a rich assemblage of native grasses and sedges. A spur of the Ozark Trail borders the preserve.
Reynolds County, southwest of Centerville
This preserve is on rugged, grassy terrain. The viewing platform is under repair - please do not try to access the platform. A fall visit, when the leaves change, is perhaps the most spectacular. Call the Lower Ozarks Project office for more information at (573) 323-8790.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
In this narrow, Ozark valley, at least 15 fens of various types can be found; Grasshopper Hollow has the largest known prairie fen in Missouri.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In March 2000, the Conservancy purchased the 20-acre Bryant tract, which is located within the Grasshopper Hollow watershed. This acquisition will prevent development of the site and further protect the fen communities at Grasshopper Hollow.
We are using fire management to retain the natural characteristics of a fen complex. Through a partnership with the United States Forest Service, we are restoring the fen recharge watershed. In addition, we are leasing 80 acres of the best fen habitat at the site from the Doe Run Company.
What to See: Plants
Unusual wetlands fed by a permanent supply of highly mineralized groundwater. Fens and natural groundwater seepages dominate the hollow bottomlands.Among many native forbs and grasses, a visitor may find swamp agrimony, arrowleaved tear-thumb, prairie cordgrass, big bluestem,swamp aster, rough-leaf goldenrod and Michigan lily.
What to See: Animals
Notable animal species include beavers, the rare four-toed salamander and the rare wood frog. In 2000, the federally endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly was discovered to be breeding at this site.
Check the local weather forecast and dress accordingly. Long pants and sleeves, hiking boots, drinking water, hat, and compass are recommended. During warm weather, light color and light-weight clothing is suggested. Repellent, binoculars, and field guide(s) are also worth bringing.
Two miles south of Centerville on Highway 21, take Highway 72 west.
Approximately one mile past the Highway B intersection at Reynolds,
turn right on County Road 860 and proceed about 0.6 miles to the parking area.