Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Sunklands - A True Missouri Treasure

The Sunklands, located in Shannon County, are enormous...over 40,000 acres or over 60 square miles in total, all situated in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. Nearly three miles of the Current River run through this conservation area, and about a mile and a half of trout fishing on Barren Fork Creek are to be found as well.  One of the major outdoor magazines predicted within the last few years that a world record whitetail could come from the area.  Turkey hunting is extraordinary.

Trails exist for hiking, but they are not well mapped. Dispersed camping is permitted, but there are no facilities.  In other words, by and large, the Sunklands are true wilderness.

Sunklands Conservation Area
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation. 
The Sunklands get their name from a geographical feature that is unique, at least in terms of its size, to this one area. The sinkhole that gives the area its name is over a mile long, 600 feet wide, and 200 feet deep.  It is certainly the largest sinkhole in the Show-Me-State.

For more info on the sinkhole that gives the area its name, and how to locate it, visit here.

Getting to Sunklands Conservation Area is not overly difficult, but there are multiple different routes into the area. The directions I am providing here will get you into one side of the region.  You might want to look over a map on your own.  Again, this is absolutely one of Missouri's most beautiful areas, but it does not come with its arms open wide awaiting the visitor.  You will need to spend some time with maps, bring a compass and maybe GPS (but not just a GPS), and come with a sense of adventure.  You will be rewarded for your efforts!

Salem to Sunklands: