Hiking Peck Ranch Conservation Area

Hiking isn't why people usually visit Peck Ranch, but why not? Peck Ranch is blessed with miles of trail, some even part of the Ozark Trail system.

Views are outstanding from vistas like Stegall Mountain, and wildlife viewing abounds.  Within the wildlife area, referred to locally as "inside the fence," there is now a local herd of elk re-introduced to the area after being extirpated from Missouri years ago. 

Spend a night in the shortleaf pine adorned campground, and you're very likely to be awakened by coyotes singing on a cool evening.  Bobcats, black bear, abundant whitetail deer and turkey are among the other wildlife species you have an excellent chance to see.

If you are unfamiliar with the area, grab a map and get exploring. I might suggest starting up on Stegall Mountain. Drive up the road several miles on a well maintained road to a small parking area right before a gate blocking the last quarter mile or so of the road which ends at a fire tower.

Right at the gate (right side facing uphill), you will find a trail that branches off the road that will get you into some beautiful areas, including a connection to the Ozark Trail.  Or, just meander up the road to the tower. You can go up the steps (at your own risk - obviously) quite a ways before it is blocked.  The views are spectacular.

Other areas of Peck you might visit include the area inside the fence where the elk are concentrated, or perhaps locate the Vermillion Bottoms area outside the fence for some easy walking and great wildlife viewing.

Peck Ranch as seen from Stegall Mountain

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