Deer Ridge Conservation Area


Some sections of the horse trails near Horse Camp and Fox Camp may be closed due to tree harvesting work. This work is scheduled to last throughout 2017.

Driving Directions

From Lewistown, take Route H north 5.50 miles, then Route Y west 2 miles to the main tract.


Mostly forest with old fields, cropland and wetlands, including a boat ramp, picnic areas, pavilions, the James B. Jenkins Shooting range, Deer Ridge Community Lake (48 acres) and two permanent streams (North Fabius River, Middle Fabius River). Mobility impaired hunter access is also available for those with special hunting needs. This area can be reserved by special use permit through the area manager.

About This Area

Much of the area was purchased in the 1950's through the efforts of James B. Jenkins, a local resident farmer. The area was purchased to increase public fishing and hunting opportunities in the Northeast Region.

About 5,000 acres of Deer Ridge Conservation Area is forested. Nearly 20 miles of multiple use trails can take you to the many unique features that can be experienced on Deer Ridge Conservation Area. The easy to walk purple trail will take you through a woodland that has an abundance of 150 year old post oaks where woodland forbs such as Culver's root and pale purple coneflowers are being established. If you're into long adventurous trails to hike, bike or ease along on horseback the many multi-use trails may be what you're looking for. Horse campground is the place horseback riders will want to camp. Horse camp offers places to tie up horses, restrooms and space for parking your trailer. From Horse campground is quick access to several of the favorite trails.

The abundance of wildlife and ground flora diversity is growing on Deer Ridge Conservation Area due to active land management systems. During the early spring, catch the many service berries laced throughout the upland oak/hickory forest hills by its white flowers along red, orange, and yellow trail. Enjoy bottomland forest and wetlands filled with the musical sounds of many aquatic wildlife species along green and blue trails.

Management of this forest includes tree improvement and tree harvest to create forest openings for wildlife, to promote the health of the forest, and ensure a diversity of tree sizes and age classes. Visitors to the area will also see signs of open field cropping, grass management, and wetland management.

Deer Ridge Conservation Area is rich with human history. Artifacts found along the ridges that overlook the North Fabius river indicate the area was used by at least five different Native American tribes.

A 48-acre lake, constructed in 1960, provides bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie for anglers. The lake is managed to provide quality fishing.

The area also offers opportunities for target shooting at the James B. Jenkins Shooting Range. The unstaffed range has a three-station rifle range, regulation trap range, and archery range.

Through cooperation with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, six wetland pools have been constructed that provide approximately 225 acres of wetland habitat at full pool. There are also many oxbow marsh areas along the North Fabius river bottoms that also provide excellent habitat for waterfowl such as wood ducks and many types of amphibious wildlife.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  Seasonal closures apply. There are 19 miles of multiple-use trails. Recommended trails are south and east of lake. Trails have rugged terrain and are more suited towards mountain biking. 
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  There are 4 designated camping areas. The camping areas have pull off sites, fire grates and privies.  
Camping - Primitive Area  Parking lots 1, 2, 3 and 4 allow camping on or adjacent to area parking lot.  No amenties provided.  No camping along roadways.  
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Except during firearms deer and turkey seasons.  
Fishing - Bass Good population. On Deer Ridge Lake. 
Fishing - Catfish Fair population. On Deer Ridge Lake and streams. 
Fishing - Crappie Good population. On Deer Ridge Lake 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population. On Deer Ridge Lake 
Hiking  Seasonal closures apply. Multiple use trails include horseback riding and bicycling. Trails have rugged terrain. 
Horseback Riding  Seasonal closures apply. 19 Miles of multiple use trails. Trails have rugged terrain. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Good population. Click on link to dove management map (available in August). 
Hunting-Other  Special hunting provisions provided for the mobility impaired. Contact area manager or regional office for further information.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population. Quail hunting opportunities are best on northern portions of area. 
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. Rabbit hunting is best on northern portion of area in brushy old field areas. 
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population. On wetland units depending on fall precipitation. 

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete Deer Ridge Lake  Access to 48 acre fishing Lake. 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   The camping areas have pull off sites, fire grates, and privies.  
Dock - Fishingaccessible  On Deer Ridge Lake 
Other James B. Jenkins Shooting Range  Includes three stage archery range and rifle range.  
Parking Lot    
Pavilion   Each of the three shelter houses contains picnic tables. Two of the shelter houses provide electricity. All are located next to Deer Ridge Lake adjacent to Lake Campground.  
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Disabled accessible privies are located in two of the camping areas (Lake Campground and Fox Campground).  

Go to Top of Page

Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Deer Ridge Lake 48.00 acres  
Fishless Pond  33 15.00 acres Wildlife watering holes 
Stream - Permanent Middle Fabius River 1.02 miles  
Stream - Permanent Cooper Branch 3.50 miles  
Stream - Permanent North Fabius River 5.82 miles  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Wetland 225.00  
Savanna 300.00  
Old Field 360.00  
Crop Land 425.00  
Lakes/Ponds 48.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 93.00  
Forest and Woodland 5500.00  
Total Area Acres:6995.89 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Multi-use trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 17.40 

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information






1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

Go to Top of Page