Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area is in southern McDonald County, east of Pineville. Visitors can access the area from several area roads that originate from Route K.
This 2,106-acre area is almost entirely forested. Purchased in the early 1960’s and originally named Huckleberry Ridge State Forest, this area was the first large forested tract acquired by the Conservation Department in southwest Missouri.
The forest primarily consists of oaks and hickories with a few scattered groves of shortleaf pine. Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area is on the edge of the range for shortleaf pine, Missouri’s only native pine. The species used to be more abundant. In fact, the nearby community of Pineville was named for the abundance of pines in the nearby hills at the time of settlement.
Indiscriminate cutting in the 1800’s and past land use practices have significantly reduced the occurrence of short leaf pine in this region of Missouri. The Conservation Department is seeding and planting new pines and encouraging natural reproduction of existing pines on the area.
Ozark chinkapin, native to only five counties in Missouri, is also found on the area. Ozark chinkapin, a close relative of the American chestnut, has also been ravaged by the chestnut blight since the late 1800’s.