Union Ridge Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Green Castle, take Route D north 2.50 miles.


About three-fourths of the area is forest or woodland, and the rest is savanna, old fields, wetlands and cropland. Facilities/features: boat ramp, primitive camping, fishable lake (11 acres), three permanent streams (Spring Creek, Dry Branch Creek, Jobs Creek), and an intermittent stream (Lick Creek). Portions of the area are located in Adair, Putnam and Sullivan Counties.

About This Area

Union Ridge Conservation Area is located in Adair, Putnam and Sullivan counties. Bisected by Spring Creek, this 8,262-acre area is a mosaic of woodlands, grasslands, old fields, prairie, savanna, and forest. This conservation area was created in 1989, when the Conservation Department purchased the bulk of the property from Mutual Assurance of New York. The area had mainly been used for cattle ranching and was known as Henley Ranch and later as Spring Creek Ranch.

The area takes its name from a ridge on the northern portion of the area, which was called Union Ridge during the Civil War. There was also an active U.S. Post Office from 1864 to 1884 called Union Ridge.

A 1,769-acre portion of the area has been designated as the Spring Creek Ranch Natural Area. This area is being managed to restore prairie and savanna communities. Located in the south-central portion of the area and bisected by Route D, these areas were dominated by fescue when the area was purchased. Through the careful use of prescribed burning, they are being restored to a diverse mix of native grasses and wildflowers. Characteristic species such as big bluestem, little bluestem, pale purple coneflower, prairie clover, and leadplant are now flourishing, increasing the aesthetic appeal and wildlife value of these habitats.

Whitetail deer are abundant in Union Ridge Conservation Area. The area also supports good populations of bobwhite quail and other upland game species. Various songbirds and small mammals are common.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
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 Firearms Deer and Turkey seasons. 
Fishing - Bass Fair population. In Union Ridge Lake and ponds 1 and 2. 
Fishing - Catfish Fair population. In Union Ridge Lake and ponds 1 and 2. 
Fishing - Crappie Fair population. In Union Ridge Lake. 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population. Bluegill in Union Ridge Lake and ponds 1 and 2. 
Hiking  No designated trails, but numerous area access trails. 
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 Good population. See dove map (available in August) for planted fields  
Hunting-Pheasant Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
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.  
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
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete   Union Ridge Lake  
Parking Lotaccessible 18   
Privy/Restroomaccessible  Located in Parking lots N and E.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Spring Creek Ranch Natural Area 1769.00 acres Natural areas provides additional information.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Union Ridge Lake 11.00 acres Located at parking lot E. Concrete boat ramp. Electric motors only.  
Fishing Lake or Pond  20 10.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond 1 0.30 acres Located at parking lot U off of Ironbank Road.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond 2 0.10 acres Located at parking lot U off of Ironbank Road.  
Stream - Intermittent Lick Creek 2.00 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Jobs Creek 1.00 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Dry Branch Creek 2.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Spring Creek 1.75 miles Limited fishing opportunities exist.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Old Field 559.00  
Forest and Woodland 5356.10  
Crop Land 253.00  
Wetland 40.00  
Lakes/Ponds 22.60  
Savanna 1923.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 109.00  
Total Area Acres:8262.70 

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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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