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Aug 8 Knob Lick Tower rises above area

Editor’s Note: For 60 days, we’re sharing some of the most identifiable images of the Parkland. The daily series began July 14.

Knob Lick Towersite is an 80-acre towersite purchased from the U.S. Forest Service for use as a fire detection tower to locate wildfires in southern St. Francois and northern Madison counties.

Although used regularly in the past, the tower is only seldom used now because few wild areas exist within the tower’s viewing range. However, the tower continues to provide a commanding view of the area.

Located just off U.S. 67, near the community of Knob Lick, the site is a popular stop for road weary drivers. The view of the flatwoods valley from the tower is beautiful. A small granite glade provides a panoramic view of the same area for those who prefer to sightsee from the ground.

This rocky, granite glade is the open area just south of the lookout tower. It is covered with little bluestem and Indian grass, as well as many wildflowers, such as tickseed, pine-weed, and sunflowers.

This glade is being managed with prescribed fire to prevent woody trees and shrubs from closing in the open glade area. Glades provide important habitat for turkey and quail and are homes for eastern collared lizards and flathead snakes. Many songbirds, such as red-eyed vireos and indigo buntings, live on or near glades.

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