Beech Tree Trail
Length: 2.25 Miles View map
This trail showcases many of the unique aspects of Crowley’s Ridge in southeast Missouri. It leads you from the top of the ridge down into bottomlands and returns along the ridge top, passing through different natural communities. Crowley’s Ridge rises up to 250 feet above the surrounding flatlands of the Mississippi embayment. Some of the trees, wildflowers and ferns of Morris State Park are restricted in Missouri to this long-running ridge that extends from the Cape Girardeau area to the north, into northern Arkansas to the south. American beech, Hercules club and many herbaceous plants commonly associated with forests of the eastern United States have their western-most range on or around Crowley’s Ridge. The fragile soils were formed through thousands of years of wind-blown deposition of glacial silt and are highly fertile. These wind-blown soils are called loess and often develop near floodplains of large river systems. Dissected slopes on the eastern edge of the park give a glimpse of the soil composition of Crowley’s Ridge. Mosquitoes are common and can be abundant during the late spring, summer, and early fall. Insect repellent, long-sleeved shirts and pants will help make their presence minimal during your hike.
|Length||Estimated Hiking Time||Type||Blazes||Trailhead|
|2.25 Miles||1 hour, 40 minutes||Loop||Red|