The Phantom Forest is located on Barrett Station Road, between Manchester Road and Dougherty Ferry Road in Des Peres, a city in west St. Louis County, Missouri, United States.
Claire and Ray Moore purchased the 13 acres parcel of land in 1949, made up of wildflowers, plants and trees, all indigenous to the area. Upon Claire Moore’s death on the 1st of June 2005, the property was donated to the Missouri Department of Conservation. In honor of Ray Moore, the original illustrator of the Phantom comic strip, Claire named the property Phantom Forest.
In Claire Moore’s words, “I hope the forest is a source of quiet pleasure in the midst of a locality that is building up so fast. People need a place to walk that is more natural. I hope it means something to a lot of other people, too.”
On the 5th of April 2008, the city of Des Peres opened Phantom Forest to the public, and in December that year, a 1.5 mile trail was opened connecting Phantom Forest with the nearby 10 acre Bittersweet Woods, an adjoining conservation area. Upon the commencement of the trail, on the Barrett Station Road entrance which also contains a car park, the below sign is found.
The Phantom Forest is ideal for hiking and wildlife viewing, especially for bird or deer watching, a popular location with outdoor Photographers. A plaque is found within the Phantom Forest on a small clearing with a bench along the walking trail.
The plaque reads:
The Missouri Department of Conservation acknowledges the gift by Claire L. Moore of this thirteen acre natural area, an oasis for all to enjoy. This conservation area has been named for the comic strip hero “The Phantom”, for which Ray Moore was the original cartoonist.
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Ray S. Moore.