Davisdale Conservation Area

Notice

The foot bridge over Salt Creek just north of parking lot G is closed to vehicular and foot traffic. It is planned for replacement however this might not get done for some time.

Driving Directions

From Columbia, take I-70 west, take Highway 40 west 12 miles and watch for area sign.

Highlights

This area is more than half forest. It also contains loess hills, cropland, old fields, grassland and prairie. Facilities/features: primitive camping and 16 fishable ponds (17.5 acres total).

About This Area

Davisdale Conservation Area is in Howard County, 15 miles west of Columbia and seven miles east of Boonville on Highway 40.

This 2,701-acre area features over 800 acres of riverhills woodland, which includes pecan and walnut, large tracts of warm- and cool-season grasses, interspersed with old fields, legumes and shrubs.

A variety of crops are planted in rotation on about 300 acres of the area. Some grain is left unharvested as winter food for wildlife.

The area contains at least three Indian mounds. Davisdale features a series of scenic limestone bluffs carved by the Missouri River, which now flows 1.5 miles away.

Before its purchase by the Conservation Department in 1981, Davisdale was one of the larger single-family holdings in Howard County. It was actually a collection of several small farms, with more than a dozen homes. Bricks for some of the structures were cast from clay mined on the area.

The early English settlers maintained livestock and planted wheat, oats and corn, as well as tobacco, in the deep loess soils. At one time, Howard County led the state in tobacco production.

Soil conservation practices, including contour terraces, catch basins, limited tillage and crop rotation, instituted by the early settlers are still practiced today. Legumes and native grasses are planted to control erosion and replace less desirable grasses, such as tall fescue.

General Information

Central

Howard

573-815-7900

Owned by MDC,Leased

  • Adjacent to Katy Trail off Highway 40, Howard County.

Activities
Activity
(Activity Explanations)
Comments
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  No amenities provided. Two primitive designated camping locations exist.  
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Hiking  No designated hiking trails exist; although area access trails exist for hiking. These access trails allow easy use of deer carts for game removal. The KATY trail runs through the lower portion of the area. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Archery-statewide regulations except archery antlerless permits not allowed; firearms-buck only, not open for firearms hunting during  anterless seasons. 4-Point restriction applies.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population. Dove hunting is seasonally dependant upon crops raised to attract migrating birds.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population. The "Quail Emphasis Area" designation for Davisdale CA was removed in 2014.  Despite conducting large amounts of quail and small game management quail numbers continued to decline.  There are small numbers of quail on the area.   
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. The area has many renovated hedgerows providing excellent rabbit habitat. 
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special Use Permit Required 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No amenities provided. 
Parking Lot    

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Features
Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #1 0.75 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #1A 0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Horseshoe Lake (Pond 2)  1.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #3 1.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #4  2.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #5  0.75 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Beaver Lake (Pond 6)  2.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #7  0.30 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #8  0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #9 0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #10 0.75 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #11 0.75 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #12 0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #13 0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #14 0.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #15 0.25 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #16 0.25 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #17 0.75 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #18 1.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #19 0.25 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #20 1.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Louie Lake (Pond 21) 2.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #22 1.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #23 1.50 acres  
Fishless Pond Pond # 24 1.00 acres  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Old Field 580.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 189.00  
Lakes/Ponds 17.00  
Crop Land 350.00  
Forest and Woodland 1550.00  
Wetland 15.00  
Total Area Acres:2691.06 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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