The upland areas of the park demonstrate a transition between the prairies to the north and west, and the more rugged hill country of southern Missouri. Plant species found range from prairie types, such as big bluestem, Indian grass, leadplant and cream wild indigo to upland forest species, such as white oak, red oak and sugar maple. A multitude of lichens and mosses can also be found.
Located in the middle of thousands of acres of land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the park serves as a haven for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, foxes, raccoons and bats. Other animals that can be periodically observed in the park include osprey, northern harriers, bald eagles, numerous migratory waterfowl and monarch butterflies.