The People's Tribune

MDC Invites Explorers To Discover Unique Rock Tunnel Sculpted By Water Near Whiteside

It’s something you might not expect to come upon while hiking to a serene Missouri creek. But there it is—a 50-foot domed cliff of stone. Looming over the creek it paints a shimmering reflection on the pool below. Through the rock stretches a tunnel, 12 feet wide and 16 feet tall, carved clean through by nothing more than the force of water. Light from the tunnel’s opposite opening shines like a beacon, an invitation for further exploration.

You’ve just discovered the Sandy Creek Natural Tunnel.

This marvel is one of Missouri’s Natural Areas, locations designated statewide because of their outstanding natural qualities or features. The area is located just west of the town of Whiteside in Lincoln County and is enrolled in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Missouri Outdoor Recreational Access Program (MRAP). MRAP is a cooperative effort between MDC and willing landowners to offer private land for public access to hunt, fish or view wildlife.

The Sandy Creek Natural Tunnel property is enrolled in the MRAP Program as a wildlife and nature viewing site. Fishing and hunting are not permitted. The area is open daily from an hour before sunrise until an hour past sunset. Sandy Creek, which skirts the area’s eastern boundary, flows into the North Fork of the Cuivre River. It is clear with a bottom of sand and gravel.

Upon arriving, visitors can park on a small grassy patch at the entrance in front of the wooden MRAP bulletin board. Guests are encouraged to fill out a use card to help MDC track visitation to the area.

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