James Baughn was the webmaster of seMissourian.com and its sister newspapers for 20 years. On the side, he maintained even more sites, including Bridgehunter.com, LandmarkHunter.com, TheCapeRock.com, and Humorix. Baughn passed away in 2020 while doing one of the things he loved most: hiking in Southeast Missouri. Here is an archive of his writing about hiking and nature in our area.
Welcome to Armadillo Acres, again
Posted Friday, January 21, 2011, at 4:49 PM
Last winter, I found a population of armadillos at Seventy-Six Conservation Area in Perry County. The little varmints were out in the open trying to find food during the harsh winter.
This winter has been harsh, as well. I found another hungry armadillo at Red Rock Landing Conservation Area, just up the river from Seventy-Six. While the climate in Missouri isn't very favorable for armadillos, they seem to be thriving in Perry County, perhaps taking advantage of the many sinkholes to find warm shelter.
The darn things are just so cute, rummaging through the brush for food and standing on their hinds legs when they sense danger. They soon forget about the danger, though, and go back to foraging, completely oblivious to everything.
Red Rock Landing offers more than just the chance to see 'dillos. The conservation area has hiking trails, fishing access, and panoramic views of the Mississippi River. The only thing I didn't find was, strangely enough, red rocks.
From the parking area, a muddy trail leads across the railroad tracks and to the river's edge.
The best river views, however, can be found by climbing into the hills. To the north, the Mississippi makes a sweeping curve.
Off to the left, the flat Missouri floodplain stretches to the northwest.
While more difficult to reach, this vantage point is almost as impressive as the overlook at Trail of Tears State Park. And it might include a bonus appearance of an armadillo.
[Google map] [Conservation area PDF map]
From Cape Girardeau, take I-55 north to the Fruitland exit (#105) and then turn right on US 61 north. Continue through Fruitland, Old Appleton, and Uniontown. Just before reaching Longtown, turn right on Route D. Then make a left on Route U. At the T-junction with Route C, turn left and drive north to Crosstown.
In the middle of Crosstown, turn right on Perry County Road 350 (it's easy to miss). This road goes 4 miles to the conservation area. The first three miles are paved (barely). Watch out for the low-water crossing of Omete Creek; it's impassable when the Mississippi River reaches 20 feet on the Chester gauge. Follow the road until it ends at the parking area and campsite.
Be sure to print a copy of the area map which shows the hiking trails and property boundaries.
- The Pavement Ends guide to the Ozark Riverways (8/19/20)
- Maintz sunflowers back for 2020 (7/27/20)
- Massive sinkhole opens in Reynolds County along the Trail of Tears (6/3/20)1
- Hike from 0 to 12 miles on the Audubon Trail (5/14/20)
- Scenes from Pinecrest Azalea Garden (4/19/20)
- Ideas for getting away from it all (3/27/20)1
- Jean Dale: Cape Girardeau baseball sensation (with an asterisk) (2/10/20)
Respond to this blog
Posting a comment requires a subscription.