Ray Norbut Fish and Wildlife Area is a 1,140-acre mosaic of bottomlands, woodlands, wetlands, open fields, steep hills, rocky ravines, hollows, brushy draws and bluffs. Located along the Illinois River, it lies five miles east of Griggsville and two miles south of Valley City in Pike County. Big Blue Island, a narrow, 100-acre strip of land in the river, is part of the conservation area. Other notable geographic features are two west-east flowing streams-Blue Creek, a river tributary, and the spring-fed Napoleon Hollow Creek. Woodland flowerThis site provides exceptional habitat for a wide range of harvestable, non-harvestable, uncommon, threatened or endangered plants and animals. Examples are the endangered bald eagle, a winter resident of the wooded blufflands, and the jeweled shooting star, a rare pre-glacial relict wildflower species. To provide a refuge for the eagles, portions of the bluff areas are closed to the public seasonally. Oak and hickory are the dominant tree species in a woodland that also contains red cedar, red and white oak, sugar maple, ironwood, blue beech and, in the bottomlands, abundant willow, cottonwood and silver maple. The oak/hickory community is the highest quality forest in the region and supports a diverse assemblage of wildlife. Forests, bluffs and limestone outcroppings are rich in wildflowers and ferns. Among the wildflowers are hepatica, Dutchman抯 breeches, spring beauties, toothwort, yellow bellwort, trout lily, trillium, wild ginger, larkspur, phlox, wild petunia, Venus looking glass and May apple. The ferns include cliffbrake, Christmas and woolly lip species. Although intended primarily for public hunting, the conservation area also beckons hikers and nature enthusiasts with several undeveloped trails, one of which has a trailhead parking lot. Fishing is permitted, too, in the Illinois River and Blue Creek. No facilities or programs exist for camping, picnicking, horseback riding, water sports, winter activities or other recreational pursuits.

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