Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Columbia, take Providence Road (Route K) south past the village of McBaine. Continue across Perche Creek and turn left on Star School Road.


This area, which borders Katy Trail State Park, contains cropland, forest, wetlands, and smaller tracts of savanna and glades. Facilities/features: viewing blind, waterfowl blind, and two permanent streams (Missouri River, Perche Creek).

About This Area

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area is in Boone County at the southwest edge of Columbia, near McBaine.

The Missouri River and Perche Creek provide over 10 miles of stream frontage on Eagle Bluffs. Through the years, the Missouri River has changed its course many times. The town of Providence, across Perche Creek from Eagle Bluffs, was once on the bank of the Missouri, before the river changed its course in the late 1800's. Providence is now almost a mile north of the river. The Missouri once flowed through what is now Eagle Bluffs and sunk the steamship "Plowboy," which is now believed to be buried under sand and silt on the area.

The Conservation Department purchased and developed this 4,431-acre area to help offset the loss of nearly 90 percent of Missouri's historical wetlands. The area's wetlands have been restored by creating 17 shallow pools. The wetland management infrastructure includes 30 miles of levees, 61 water control structures, river water supply pumps, a water supply junction box, pump-out facilities, and a pipeline linking the area to the City of Columbia's wastewater treatment wetlands. The City of Columbia and the Department of Conservation entered into a cooperative agreement that allows the Department to use treated wastewater from the city as a primary water source for the wetlands. The city's "recycled" wastewater provides a near constant source of water, but river pumps can supplement the water supply when the area's needs exceed the flow from the city.

The area's 17 wetland pools allow the flooding of 1,100 acres of moist soil marshes, emergent marshes, and crop fields. These marshes provide year-round habitat for migrating and wintering birds and permanent wildlife and excellent wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities.

In the fall, the area's beauty is enhanced by colorful foliage along the bordering limestone bluffs.

The KATY Trail State Park passes through a portion of the area and adds to the public's use and enjoyment of Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. The parking lot located on Warren School Road provides walking access to the area's scenic overlook.

General Information




Owned by MDC,Leased

  • Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited.
  • Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited. 
  • This managed wetland area utilizes treated wastewater from the City of Columbia and pumps water from the Missouri River to provide wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds and resident wildlife.
  • Eagle Bluffs information Hotline: 573-446-6743.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  This area is designated as an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Shorebirds April-June, August-September. Ducks and Geese October-May. River timber attractive to migrant and resident songbirds. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Boat-in along Missouri River  Camping not allowed, except persons traveling the Missouri River by boat may camp within 100 yards of the river between April 1 and September 30.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Fishing good along banks of the Missouri River and Perche Creek. Seven miles of frontage along the Missouri River.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population. Fair in spring in Perche Creek 
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, buffalo, drum 
Highlighted Activities  Bird watching and duck hunting are popular activities. 
Hiking  Three mile long trail through the river timber from the river parking lot to the pool 12 parking lot. 1.6 mile long trail from the river parking lot to the northwest property boundary. A trail from the Katy Trail leads to the bluff-top observation deck. The trail to the overlook is steep and exhausting, but worth the view.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population. Dove hunting is permitted by managed hunt during the first (7) days of the dove hunting season. Managed dove hunt draw times are 4:45AM and 11AM.  Those drawn to hunt at the 4:45AM draw may hunt until noon while those drawn to hunt in the 11AM draw may hunt from noon til sunset. Only non-toxic shot required. Draws held at headquarters building on Rt K. Draws may end during the first 7 days at manager discretion when hunting opportunity exceeds hunting demand.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited. Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited. Most rabbit hunting occurs after the close of duck season.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population. Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited. Use or possession of lead shot is prohibited.  
Hunting-Waterfowl – Morning Draw Good population. Must possess a Daily Waterfowl Hunt card, available on area. During waterfowl season 75% of hunting opportunities will be allocated by the Quick Draw procedure.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Hunting Blind - Waterfowlaccessible  Disabled user blinds allocated by Quick Draw process.  
Parking Lotaccessible  1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad at the Missouri River. 
Parking Lotaccessible 24  Includes 1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad. 
Parking Lot Warren School Rd  The parking lot located on Warren School Road provides walking access to the area's scenic overlook.  
Staffed Officeaccessible   
Viewing Blindaccessible  Disabled Accessible blinds are utilized for viewing and hunting. 
Viewing Deck/Tower   Located on top of bluff. Access is from the Katy Trail State Park approximately 2.5 miles south of the McBaine trailhead. 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Other Blue holes (there are 7) 20.00 count During wet years, scour holes provide lake-like fishing opportunities for crappie and riverine fishes.  
Stream - Permanent Perche Creek (6.5 miles) 6.50 miles Walk-in bank fishing available.  
Stream - Permanent Missouri River (6.6 miles) 6.60 miles Good river bank access and view.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1344.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 140.00  
Wetland 1390.00  
Other 367.00 Open Water 
Other 5.00 Infrastructure 
Other 0.00 River Frontage (Missouri River) 6.6 Miles 
Other 0.00 River Frontage (Perche Creek) 6.5 miles 
Crop Land 755.00  
Old Field 428.00  
Total Area Acres:4428.62 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking trail (Difficult) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.20 
Hiking trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 3.00 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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