Grand Bluffs Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Portland, take Highway 94 east 5 miles, then County Road 291 (Bluffton Road) north 0.25 mile.


This area is mostly forest and also contains woodland, forest, and glades. Facilities/features: Grand Bluffs Scenic Overlook Trail (two miles) leads users through post oak woodland, maple/oak forest and glades to an overlook deck. The deck sits atop tall, dolomite bluffs and provides a view of the Missouri River, bottomland fields, Highway 94 and adjacent bluffs and blufftop glades.

About This Area

Grand Bluffs Conservation Area is located in southern Montgomery County near the towns of Rhineland and Bluffton. This area can be accessed from Bluffton Rd. off of Highway 94.

The Katy Trail passes south of the area.

This 236-acre area features a stretch of dolomite bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. They are a portion of a spectacular and scenic two-mile stretch of 300-foot bluffs along the river. These steep bluffs were formed by the river, which is now one-half mile to the south. Canada geese have been known to nest on these bluffs. The unique bluff features and the associated flora have earned this area the designation as a Natural Area.

The Conservation Department purchased the area from Lorna Rice and James Gregory in 1991.

Two parking lots are provided for public vehicles and visitors are encouraged to explore the area on foot. They will find small fishless ponds, a remnant hill prairie and glade along the ridge. Synthiana Creek flows through the lower portion of the area.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Various forest birds visit the area. Vultures ride the warm currents rising from the bluffs. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Hiking  One designated trail. The trail leaving the parking lot is an easement. Private land is adjacent on both sides, PLEASE REMAIN ON THE TRAIL UNTIL BOUNDARY SIGNS INDICATE THAT YOU ARE ON GRAND BLUFFS (MDC owned). NO rock climbing.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited.    
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Firearms firing single projectiles prohibited.    
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.  
Nature Viewing  Good fall color display along adjacent Highway 94 and Katy Trail (which is nearby). Overlook on bluff provides great view of the Missouri River bottoms. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    
Viewing Deck/Tower   Overlook deck sits atop a tall dolomite bluff overlooking the Missouri River, floodplain, Highway 94 and adjacent bluffs. Trail from the south parking lot leads to deck.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Grand Bluffs Natural Area 160.00 acres The most outstanding feature of this natural area are the fluted, dry dolomite cliffs that rise above the Missouri River floodplain. Many small remnant glades remain on the bluffs edges. A mesic upland oak forest is found in the north half of the natural area.  
Fishless Pond  0.10 acres Fishless pond for wildlife  
Stream - Intermittent Synthianna Creek 0.01 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Glade 8.00  
Forest and Woodland 206.30  
Lakes/Ponds 0.25  
Other 15.30 Bluff and talus 
Old Field 6.40  
Native Prairie 0.14  
Total Area Acres:236.39 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking trail (Difficult) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.00 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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