at Big Sugar Creek State Park
As a result of the uniqueness of the park's natural features, 1,613 acres of the park were designated as Elk River Breaks Woodland Natural Area by the Missouri Natural Areas Committee. The woodlands found within this natural area are among the finest examples of a landscape that was once common across the region. They feature open grown shortleaf pine, post oaks and hickory trees, with grassy hillsides rich with shrubs and wildflowers, many of which are restricted in Missouri to the Elk River Hills. Prescribed fire is used as a management tool at Big Sugar Creek State Park to maintain the open character of this significant woodland landscape.