Meramec Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From I-44 near Sullivan, take Highway 185 south 5 miles to the area sign.


This area is mainly forest. Facilities/features: viewing deck and a permanent stream (Meramec River).

About This Area

Meramec Conservation Area is in Franklin County. Much of the land for the forest was purchased by the state between 1925 and 1930. In 1980, 166 additional acres were donated by Dorothy Hill in memory of Arthur Heyne.

Sheer cliffs along the Meramec River form the western border of the area, affording a scenic view of the river valley and surrounding hills.

The area contains six caves, a great blue heron rookery, abundant wildlife, and varying forest types, including plantations established on the site by the first state nursery.

Other interesting attractions include the Reedville town site, a former CCC camp, Lone Hill Lookout Tower site, and old mines. The Conservation Department manages the area for a variety of uses and has implemented a number of different management techniques to create and improve habitat. During your visit to Meramec Conservation Area you may view timber stand improvement, timber harvest, glade restoration, prescribed burning, and tree planting. 

General Information

St. Louis



Owned by MDC

  • All caves on this and other Conservation Areas are currently closed or restricted to public access. The fungus that causes White-nose Syndrome in bats was found in Missouri in 2010, resulting in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s White-nose Syndrome Action Plan that limits public access to protect bats. WNS can be spread from cave to cave by bats or possibly on the gear of explorers. Privately owned caves are not affected by this Plan.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  Closed to bicycles during fall firearms deer and spring turkey seasons.  
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Fishing - Bass Fair population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Suckers  
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Hiking  5.50 miles  
Horseback Riding  Not allowed during fall firearms deer and during spring turkey seasons.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lotaccessible 10  1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad. 
Viewing Deck/Tower    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Spring  100.00 # gallons per day Flow varies  
Stream - Intermittent Wet Hollow 2.50 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Little Wet Hollow 0.40 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Silver Hollow 2.50 miles  
Stream - Permanent Meramec River 4.80 miles  
Wildlife Watering Hole  22 2.00 acres  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Other 3.00  
Glade 1.00  
Forest and Woodland 4041.00  
Total Area Acres:3879.40 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Woodland Trail (Easy)accessibleDisabled-Accessible Trail 1.30 
CCC Trail (Easy) Hiking (Interpretive) 0.10 
Old Reedville School Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 6.10 
J. Avery Ruble Memorial (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 10.50 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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