Marion Bottoms Conservation Area


The Marion Bottoms field road is now closed until May 15.

Driving Directions

From Marion, take Highway 179 north 3.50 miles, take Moniteau Creek Road (first road north of Moniteau Creek) east to the area. Moniteau Creek Road has 2 connections to MO-179, the southernmost connection may be impassible due to a closed county bridge.


This area contains forest, wetlands, and old fields. Facilities/features: primitive camping, fishable lakes, and ponds (75 acres total), and two permanent streams (Moniteau Creek, Missouri River).

About This Area

Marion Bottoms Conservation Area, in Cole County, is located two miles north of Marion, MO on Moniteau Creek road off of Highway 179.

The 2,997-acre area was purchased in 1996 and is surrounded by the Missouri River on the north, east, and south boundaries, providing six miles of river frontage. The site was acquired by the Conservation Department in 1996, bought in part with funds provided by the federal government after the 1993 flood to negotiate purchase of flood prone land in order to lessen the chance and severity of future floods.

The area includes riparian and successional forests, old fields, marshes, several blue holes, and several hundred acres of wetland that include areas of open water, and seasonly flooded vegetation, and flooded forest. The wetlands, blue holes, and riverine habitats provide valuable habitat for fish, waterfowl, shorebirds, and amphibians. As successional forests, dominated by cottonwood and willow, develop into mature, bottomland forests, habitat for turkey and other small game will increase.

Area management has emphasized restoration of chutes to allow the Missouri River access to parts of the area formerly protected by levees. This will provide additional spawning and feeding areas for fish, and wetland habitat for wildlife. Management has also emphasized seasonal wetlands to benefit waterfowl, furbearers, reptiles, and amphibians.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Indigo buntings, yellowthroats, cuckoos, and yellow-breasted chats very common during summer. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Boat-in along Missouri River  Within 100 yds of river from April to September 30. 
Camping - Individual Campsites  Camping in designated area west of parking lot. No amenities provided.  
Canoeing  Access to Missouri River and Moniteau Creek available at Marion Access, south of area on Hwy 179 
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, buffalo, drum 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Hiking  No designated trails. Opportunities exist along field road and 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-Rabbit Fair 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. dependent on water levels in MO River 
Other  Mushroom hunting popular in the spring 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No gravel or paving. May become muddy during rainy periods. 
Other Field Road  Two and one-half miles, unimproved road seasonly open to vehicles May 15 through September 15, as conditions permit.  
Parking Lot   Parking lot at end of field road is inaccessible when that road is closed.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Stream - Permanent Moniteau Creek 3.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Missouri River 6.00 miles Missouri River miles 158 to 164 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Lakes/Ponds 60.00 Scour holes left by past flood events 
Old Field 450.00  
Forest and Woodland 2257.00  
Wetland 230.00  
Total Area Acres:2996.70 

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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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