Visitors Guide to
Valley View Glades
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. A tip to the
area will give visitors a glimpse into what eastern Missouri around St.
Louis looked like when the French settlers arrived in the early 18th
A glade is a type of desert-like habitat with thin, rocky soils. Glades
and associated woodlands include several different kinds of
microhabitats, and these provide many niches for plants and wildlife.
Consequently, Valley View Glades, with everything from stream ledges to
dolomite outcroppings, is home to more than 250 native plant species and
25 native butterfly species. Native wildflowers provide good wildlife
food and add beautiful color to the glades during peak bloom in early
June and throughout the growing season. The area supports many kinds of
snakes and lizards, as well as larger animals, such as deer and turkey.
The Missouri Department of Conservation uses periodic prescribed burns
and occasional thinning of eastern redcedar and other woody plants to
restore and maintain the area's natural diversity. Without this
management, the redcedar would take over the glade-adapted plants, and
wildlife would decline. In the past, fires lit by Native Americans to
aid in hunting and lightning kept these mini-deserts open and diverse.
The 2.5-mile Valley View Glades Trail provides hikers a nice loop
through the glades, associated woodlands and wildflowers.
Audubon Society of Missouri maintains a checklist of 48 species have been recorded
being seen at Valley View Glades Natural Area. Bird watching includes glade and woodland species
throughout the year.
here for to access the list.
Valley View Glades Natural Area
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site is
a day-use site.
There is no charge to visit Valley View Glades
To reach the area, travel west on Highway B from
the intersection of Highway 21 and Highway B in Hillsboro for 4.5 miles to
the parking lot on the right (north) side of the road.
more about the Jefferson County area.
Valley View Glades Natural Area - Official site maintained by the Missouri
Department of Conservation.