Walter Woods Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Redings Mill, take Route NN south 1.25 miles, then Dutch Elm Drive west 0.75 mile to the area.


This is a forest area. Facilities/features: picnic area, fishable pond (one acre), and a spring (Jacobs Branch).

About This Area

The original area was purchased in 1931 by Dr. Otto Walter for Chapter 31 of the Izaak Walton League in Joplin. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built many structures on the area in the early 1930s including a meeting lodge, a stone wall fence, two bridges, and fish rearing ponds. Originally, the area had eight ponds. However, only three remain today.

The Izaak Walton League operated an active fish hatchery at this location for several years. Water from the spring on the private property to the south provided water for the hatchery operation. It is estimated that the Izaak Walton League released over one-million fish reared at this site into area streams.

In 1985, the Izaak Walton League donated the area to the Conservation Department to continue conservation activities. Today, most of the original 28-acre Conservation Area is rocky forested bottomland with about one-quarter of the property being somewhat hilly. Along with common oaks and hickories, the area also features species such as pawpaw, spice bush, flowering dogwood, and a variety of native wild flowers.

In 1992, the original south pond was renovated with a paved path for disabled accessibility. The lodge was renovated in 1991 for use as an education training center. The trail system has been paved for disabled accessibility and a new bridge was added in 2006 to connect the two trails.

Fishing is allowed only by special use permit for conservation education programs. The Walter Woods Lodge can be reserved for conservation education purposes by contacting the Neosho Office (417-451-4158 or 417-781-2811).

Recently, an adjoining 40-acre tract was purchased by the Department and will be used for conservation education.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Hiking  Area has about one mile of paved trails. 
Other  Fishing in this area pond is strictly for educational purposes only. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Otheraccessible  Lodge building with two meeting rooms, small kitchen, and restrooms. No staff on site. Reservations required for building use. 
Parking Lotaccessible  Only the small lot immediately adjacent to the building lower level entrance is paved for disabled access.  
Picnic Tableaccessible   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  0.50 acres Fishing for educational groups only and by special use permit.  
Fishless Pond  0.50 acres Wheelchair accessible 
Named Wetland Walter 1.00 acres Has a variety of wetland plants and animals. 
Spring Jacobs Branch 2000.00 # gallons per day  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 66.71  
Lakes/Ponds 1.00  
Total Area Acres:68.21 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Disabled-accessible trail (Easy)accessibleDisabled-Accessible Trail 1.00 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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