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RALLS COUNTY (G-3 on the Missouri Highway map) pop. about 8,300.  US 61
runs down the east side; US 33 and 24 run together to nip the northeast
corner.  MO 19 comes into the southwest corner and cuts northeast to
meet US 61 at New London, the county seat with about a thousand
residents.

The county was named for Daniel Ralls, a representative from Pike Co
(from which Ralls was split).  It was Ralls, who literally on his death
bed cast the deciding vote that carried Thomas H. Benton into the U.S.
Senate as Missouriís second senator in 1820 (David Barton was unopposed).

For birders, MO 79 along the Mississippi River can be an interesting
route as it courses from the Edward Anderson CA (most of which is in
Pike Co.) north to the Marion County line at Hannibal.

Ralls County is in the northern Lincoln Hills area lying between US 61
and MO 79 from Troy to Hannibal.  These hills (with rocks as old as  440
million years) remained ice-free when glaciers covered most of northern
Missouri in the last Ice Age.  Although isolated by ice from the Ozarks
region, many Ozarks plant species in the Lincoln Hills area survived,
giving it a different flora today from its surroundings.

A portion of Mark Twain Lake, a Corps of Engineers impoundment of the
Salt River, is within Ralls Co.  There are limited points of access.
Rt. J is a handy route.  The Project Office, the M.W. Boudreaux Visitor
Center and the Clarence Cannon Dam are on it.  The marina is also
reached via Rt. J.  Open water may be checked for wintering waterfowl
from many of these points.  Further south, Rt. J crosses the Lick Creek
arm on two bridges about 5 miles apart, north of Perry, allowing some
viewing of open water.

The easternmost penninsula of the Indian Creek Recreation Area is in
Ralls Co., reached from Rt. HH in Monroe Co.  The marina and campsites
provide additional lake views.

A two acre area on the Salt River, Indian Camp Access, is north of New
London on Rt. O, and provides a taste of riparian habitat.

An 11 acre area, Robert H. Thompson CA is 200 feet downstream from the
Saverton Lock and Dam #22 on the Mississippi River

The areas described above are underbirded.  It is likely that many
species have passed through northeast Missouri, used the waters in this
area, and flown on, undetected because no one was routinely checking.
There is a potential for great finds here.

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