Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Kahoka, take Highway 136 west, then Route K north 8 miles.


Mostly forest with cropland, wetlands, old fields, and grassland. Facilities/features: primitive camping, five miles of multi-use trail, four fishless ponds, an intermittent stream, (Burnt Shirt Branch) and a permanent stream (Fox River).

About This Area

An initial donation in 1975 by Charlie Heath, a longtime resident and sportsman established this area. Subsequent acquisitions by the Conservation Department have brought the area to its present size of 1,635 acres. Charlie Heath had made his donation with the hopes that a lake would be constructed on the conservation area. After much deliberation and searching for a suitable site a tract of land approximately five miles to the east was purchased and a lake was built in the county. This lake is called Fox Valley Lake.

Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation area is nearly 90 percent forested. The remainder is grasslands and idle fields. Oak-hickory dominates the upland forests, and the bottomlands are a mix of hardwood and softwood species.

Over 3.7 miles of the Fox River meanders through the area. The area is characterized by gently rolling timbered hills and includes such natural habitats as a small remnant stand of native grass, wetlands, streams, shallow ponds, and a cottonwood plantation. An active heron rookery can be found along the Fox River in the southeast portion of the area.

The Conservation Department manages Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation Area to provide public recreational opportunities, provide habitat for game and non-game species and to protect soil and water quality.

Management techniques include farming, timber harvest, prescribed burning, discing, wetland development, water manipulation, and wildlife food plots. Portions of the area are managed for upland wildlife species, such as quail, rabbits, and songbirds. Timbered portions are managed for deer, turkey, squirrel, woodland songbirds, as well as for timber products.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  On multi-use trail. 
Camping - Primitive Area  Camping allowed on or adjacent to area parking lots. No camping along roadways. No amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Except during all firearms deer and turkey seasons. 
Canoeing  Available on the Fox River, access difficult.  
Fishing - Bass Fair population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Carp 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Horseback Riding  Horseback riding is allowed on the 5.0 mile multi use trail. Horseback riding is not allowed during firearms deer and the youth and regular spring turkey seasons.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
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. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishless Pond  0.20 acres  
Stream - Intermittent Burnt Shirt Branch 2.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Fox River 3.79 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1425.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 43.00  
Wetland 35.00  
Old Field 74.00  
Crop Land 58.00  
Total Area Acres:1635.50 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Multi-use trail (Difficult) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 6.30 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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