August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Interstate 64 in St. Charles County, take Highway 94 south to Route D, then west 1.50 miles to the area.


This 6,987-acre area contains 3,000 acres of forest in addition to grassland, cropland, old fields, prairie, and wetlands. Facilities/features: boat rentals, picnic areas, pavilion, hiking trails, 43 fishing jetties, fishing docks, staffed firearms range, archery range, five viewing blinds, and a visitor center. The area also has 28 fishable lakes and ponds totaling 550 acres.

About This Area

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area was purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1947 from the federal government. Mrs. August A. Busch Sr. donated a portion ($70,000) of the cost toward the purchase of the area as a memorial to her late husband. 

In the early 1940s, the area was used by the Department of Army as a TNT munitions plant to support the World War II effort. There are still 100 of the old TNT storage bunkers that exist on the area.

The Department encourages recreational use of the area by the public, while furnishing fish and wildlife with the resources necessary to be healthy and abundant. We encourage you to walk the hiking trails, drive the auto tour, photograph the wildlife, or simply sit under a tree and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

Hunting for a variety of wildlife species is allowed on the area. Special regulations exist for most of the hunting activities, please check the Area Regulations section or with the office for current regulations. 

Portions of the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area were used by the Department of Army in the 1940s for TNT and DNT production and by the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1960s for uranium ore processing. The affected portions were all part of a federal environmental cleanup project and required to meet certain environmental health and safety standards.

The area is now considered to be safe for all recreational pursuits allowed on the area, as well as the wildlife found within the area.

To find out more about the history of these activities on the area, you can visit the Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center located at 7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO, 63304.

Features: Spring is 20 gallons per day. Land Cover type: Forest and Woodland 3,035 acres.

General Information

St. Louis

Saint Charles


Owned by MDC

  • Office is open 8-5 Monday-Friday and closed on weekends.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Area offers easy access for year-round birding opportunities. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri.  
Dog Training  Dog Training PROHIBITED during managed firearms deer hunts. Contact Busch office at 636-441-4554 for details.  Dog Training: The training of hunting dogs by holders of a Missouri hunting permit is permitted in designated areas. Training of dogs is prohibited in agricultural crop fields prior to harvest. Dog training and field trials may take place in area lakes under the following restrictions: Lakes 1, 2, 12, and 15 are closed to all dog training and field trial events. Lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23 are closed from April 15 through September 14. Lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 28 are closed from November 1 through March 31. Lakes 6, 8, 10, 11, 16, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38 are open year-round.  Lake 9 is open year-round except that training devices producing any type of noise simulating gunfire are prohibited. This includes blank pistols, popper loads, dummy launchers and similar devices.  
Exhibits/Displays  Regional office has displays to represent habitat types on the area, includes 1300 gallon aquarium. 
Field Trials with Special Use Permit  September 1 - March 31 by Special Use Permit only 
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Catfish (14-inch) stocked in lakes 3, 4, 5, 7, and 23 May-September. Special regulations apply.  
Fishing - Crappie Good population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp fishing at Lake 33 is good in the warmer months. Muskie fishing opportunities are available on Lake 35 in late spring and fall. 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Fishing - Trout Good population. Trout stocked November - February in lakes 3, 21, 22, 23, 28. Special regulations apply.  
Highlighted Activities  Wetlands For Kids each year in the first Saturday in April.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Managed hunts only, applications available in July. 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 by statewide regulations except during the month of September dove hunters must possess a valid area daily hunting tag while hunting and must accurately report their harvest immediately upon completing their hunting trip.  Area daily hunting tags will be available on the area.  
Hunting-Other Good population. Waterfowl hunting is conducted on a limited basis under a managed hunt system.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Special regulations apply. See Area Regulations section. 
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Special regulations apply. See Area Regulations section. 
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Spring Season is managed hunt only, applications available in February. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Nature Viewing  Area road network provides good viewing opportunities for deer, turkey, and other wildlife. 
Other  Staffed firearms shooting range and unmanned archery range complex offering both field and static archery ranges.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  By Special Use Permit only, contact area manager. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boats for Rent  95  Boats and electric trolling motors are available to rent, and bait, tackle, and permits are available for purchase at the main office. No private boats allowed.  Available April through September and in March and October weather permitting.  
Dock - Fishingaccessible  Fishing docks located on lakes 33 and 34 are all disabled accessible. The ADA fishing dock at Lake 15 is available for educational disabled groups.  
Fishing Jetty/Platform  43   
Other Picnic Area  Picnic area with grills and picnic tables near headquarters.  
OtheraccessibleArchery Range Complex  Archery Range Complex offers a 14-position static range with targets ranging from 10 - 40 yards and an ADA accessible shooting tower with 6 targets ranging from 15 - 40 yards.  In addition, there are two field archery trails with 14 targets each.  One trail is a 1/4 mile out-and-back trail and the other is a one mile loop trail.  
Parking Lotaccessible 47  Includes gravel parking lot with concrete pads at lakes 2, 6, 7, 15, 33, and 34. Concrete pads also located at shooting range. Concrete parking lots with disabled accessible parking located at refuge lake, pavilion, Archery Range Complex, and main office.  
Pavilionaccessible  The pavilion is on a first come-first serve basis and cannot be reserved. 
Picnic Tableaccessible 15  Three disabled accessible tables located at Lake 15, and 2 disabled accessible tables located in the pavilion. 
Privy/Restroomaccessible 11  Disabled accessible privies located at Lakes 2, 6, 15, 33, and 34, and also at the shooting range. Disabled accessible restrooms are also available at the main office.  
Staffed Officeaccessible  Staffed office open M-F 8am-5pm. 
Viewing Blindaccessible  Disabled accessible viewing blinds located at refuge lake and on the Fallen Oak Trail.  
Visitor CenteraccessibleJim Tom Blair Visitor Center/Regional Office  Visitor Center is also the Regional Office and open M-F 8am-5pm. Programs and exhibits at office. Boat rental and bait located at office.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  28 550.00 acres Lakes 1, 2, and 15 are closed to public fishing. Lake 8 and Hampton Lake are closed to all fishing.  
Fishless Pond  20 7.00 acres  
Spring  20.00 # gallons per day Variable flow, ~20 gallons per day.  
Stream - Intermittent  8.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Dardenne Creek and Kraut Run Creek 6.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 2940.00  
Crop Land 700.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 200.00 Restored prairie. 
Lakes/Ponds 550.00  
Wetland 80.00  
Old Field 1500.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 1000.00  
Other 17.00 Roads and parking lots 
Total Area Acres:6950.80 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Fallen Oak Nature Trail (Easy) Hiking (Interpretive) 0.70 
Dardenne Creek Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.40 
Prairie Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.20 
Wildlife Management Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.40 
Woodland Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.20 
Pine Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.20 
Hamburg Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike) 2.00 
Busch Hiking and Biking Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike) 3.20 

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Shooting Range General Information

90*46' 973W





Closed Monday for maintenance. Open all other days 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour before sunset, unless otherwise posted.

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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