By Bill Cooper
The 1,900-acre Woods Valley Farm, located in the ancient hills of the Missouri Ozarks near the quaint Meramec River town of Steelville, is a piece of outdoor heaven. Outdoorsmen and land managers far and wide recognize Woods Valley as one of the most well managed hunting and fishing properties in the entire Midwest.
Darrell Hindman, Broker/Owner of Living the Dream Outdoor Properties, and Travis Tarrant, both Land Leader affiliates, are honored to have the opportunity to list the Woods Valley Farm for sale. “The Woods family and Woods Valley Farm are perfect examples of what land stewardship is all about,” Hindman said. “They wanted the best in the real estate business to represent them. We are pleased to do so.”
Bordered on the north by four miles of Meramec River frontage, all inside a designated Red Ribbon Trout Area, the farm offers the outdoor minded exceptional access to clear, cold waters for pursuit of both rainbow and brown trout, as well as hard fighting smallmouth bass.
Additionally, Woods Valley lies just below Maramec Spring Park, one of four trout parks in Missouri. Rainbow trout are stocked there regularly and are supported by 1,000,000 gallons of 57 degree water gushing from the spring every day. The constant flow of highly oxygenated water insures outstanding rainbow trout fishing at Woods Valley year round. The Missouri Department of Conservation stocks Brown trout in the Meramec River several times a year utilizing three river access points on Woods Valley for their stocking efforts.
Adding to the splendor of Woods Valley Farm, is the adjoining 5,658-acre Woodson K. Woods Memorial Wildlife Area. The area was purchased in 1971 with funds from the Conservation Department, the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, and the James H. Woods Foundation.
With a long, rich history of land stewardship, the Woods family established Woods Valley Farm with a dream of creating a hunting and fishing paradise. The tranquility of this Ozark farm is enhanced by vast stands of high quality white and black oak forests, interspersed with agricultural croplands of corn, soybeans, and wheat, all of which is left in the fields for the enhancement of deer, wild turkey and small game populations.
The late John Woods and wife, Judith, dedicated much of their lives to turning Woods Valley Farm into the showplace it is today. “John spent much of his youth going to the farm with his grandfather, Woodson K. Woods, for whom the adjoining Woodson K. Woods Memorial Wildlife Area is named,” she said.
Chaumiere Farms was the first piece of property which Woodson K. Woods purchased in the Meramec River Valley, and the location John visited as a boy. His days at Hilltop, the farm home, allowed him access to superb fishing, hunting and exploring. He also engaged with the working farm, which instilled a passionate love of the land within John that was to shape his future as a leader of land ethics, hunting and conservation. He and his brother, Jim, later added additional lands to the farm, and eventually donated the Powell Ranch portion to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“John believed in taking care of the land,” said George Kottner, a long time caretaker of Woods Valley Farm. “He was passionate about providing food plots for deer and wild turkey, managing the woodlands, and sharing the property with many of his hunting friends.”
Passionate about hunting and Second Amendment Rights, John became one of a small group of people in the 1990s invited to serve on the organizational board of trustees for the NRA Foundation. He and Judy generously gave of their time, talents, money, and energy to the NRA’s fundraising efforts. John wisely believed in securing stability through endowments.
“John supported the NRA Endowment Fund by inviting passionate hunters, including many NRA members to deer and turkey hunt at Woods Valley Farm,” Judy said. “In return each guest made a donation to the fund. Many important conversations about hunting, conservation, and second amendment rights took place around evening meals and campfires at Woods Valley.”
The incredible generosity and leadership of the Woods family did not cease with John’s death. John and Judy’s daughter, Julie Woods Hill, is continuing her family’s legacy of generosity and Second Amendment advocacy with the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Endowment. Following in her father’s footsteps with the NRA, funds from the endowment she helped create, now helps to financially develop and sustain critical NRA educational and public service programs.
John Woods held many lifetime interests, according to his wife Judy. “John and his mother loved trains,” she said. “They often went to downtown St. Louis to see the trains and John became enamored with them. When he acquired Woods Valley, one of his main objectives was to have his own trains complete with railways.”
John began building his own private 15 gauge miniature railroad system in 1971, complete with all the necessary equipment and his own steam engine. The railway included 5 miles of track and two tunnels that are over 900 feet. Additionally, there is a 3-story depot set up as a museum.
Woods Valley Farm is truly a once in a lifetime property, complete with exceptional wildlife and forestry management practices in place, 4 miles of Meramec River frontage, numerous stocked ponds, a cabin, lake house, main lodge, bungalow style caretakers home, and a writer’s studio. Several barns and outbuildings are scattered over the grounds.
“Woods Valley farm is not only an exceptional place, it is a piece of history of both land stewardship and Second Amendment advocacy,” said Living the Dream Outdoor Properties broker/owner Darrel Hindman. “We are honored to offer Woods Valley Farm to the public, through an online auction opening September 26, 2020 through October 5, 2020.”
Go to LandLeader.com , or contact Darrell Hindman at 314-486-3500.