Cooley Lake Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Missouri City, take Highway 210 east 2.50 miles to the area.


This 1,348-acre area includes an ancient oxbow lake (Cooley Lake), which was once the main channel of the Missouri River, and also wetlands, croplands, and a forested bluff.

Frequent drying of Cooley Lake inhibits quality fishing. The area also has access to the Missouri River.

Facilities/features: Disabled accessible boat ramp and privy are available on the Missouri River. An observation deck overlooking the oxbow lake feature is located on the portion of the area which lies north of Highway 210. A viewing platform is also located along Ridge Road overlooking the historic Missouri River oxbow and its floodplain.

General Information

Kansas City



Owned by MDC

  • Use or possession of lead shot prohibited.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  The area has seasonally good birding depending on water levels. Waterfowl, marsh and shorebirds, wading birds and songbirds frequent the area. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Designated area west of boat ramp.  Privy in parking lot east of camping area. No amenities provided.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Missouri River fishing 
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, buffalo, gar, and sturgeon in Missouri River 
Highlighted Activities  Wetland bird migrations in spring and fall, eagles during winter. 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population. See area regulations.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. See area regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population. See area regulations.  
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.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  By special use permit only 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Stream - ConcreteaccessibleCooley Lake - Missouri River Boat Ramp  Missouri River  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No amenities provided.  
Parking LotaccessibleRiver Access Parking  1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad. 
Parking Lot Oxbow Parking  1-Gravel Parking Lot.  
Parking LotaccessibleViewing Deck Parking   
Parking Lot Ridge Road Parking  1-Gravel Parking lot.  

River Access Parking Lot

Viewing Deck/ToweraccessibleCooley Lake Viewing Deck   
Viewing Deck/Tower Ridge Road Viewing Tower   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Named Wetland Cooley Lake - Oxbow lake 335.00 acres  
Stream - Permanent Missouri River 1.50 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Old Field 40.00  
Forest and Woodland 475.00 Evenly divided between river bluff and bottomland forest 
Wetland 568.00  
Crop Land 257.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 8.00  
Total Area Acres:1345.06 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.50 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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