James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area

Driving Directions

From Lee’s Summit, take Highway 50 east 1 mile, then SE Ranson Road (Route RA) south 0.75 mile to the area entrance.


Woodlands, old fields, grassland, and wetlands. Facilities/features: boat rental, picnic areas and three pavilions, numerous fishing jetties, two fishing docks, an archery range, and 11 fishable lakes and ponds (252 acres total).

About This Area

The James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area is located in Jackson County, south of Highway 50, near Lee's Summit. This wildlife area was established in 1952 when Mrs. Nell Reed donated 731 acres of land to the Missouri Department of Conservation in memory of her husband, Senator James A. Reed. Additional tracts were purchased using federal monies and Department funds to bring the area to its present 3,084 acres.

Development of the area and lake construction began in 1957. Over 252 acres of water have been impounded to form 12 lakes, ranging in size from one to 42 acres. Most lakes contain largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, redear sunfish, and bullheads. Striped bass hybrids have been stocked in several of the lakes. The area also has numerous small ponds.

Woodlands, native grass plantings, shrub plantings, and cropfields are managed to provide year-round food for wildlife. Giant Canada geese nest and winter at the Reed Area. The area also supports good numbers of deer.

This wildlife area was acquired, developed, and is managed in part through the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act and the Pittman-Robertson Wildife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

General Information

Kansas City



Owned by MDC

  • Closed to Quail hunting
  • Some multi-use trails will be closed during managed dove and deer hunts. Contact the office for more details.
  • The Kansas City Regional Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm.
  • Camping is only for youth groups with special use permits. No general camping on the area.
  • See the weekly fishing report (April through September).  

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  Fifteen miles of multi-use trails and on roads open to vehicles. 
Bird Watching  Popular on the area. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Camping by Special Use Permit only for Youth Groups. No amenities provided. 
Dog Training  Training of sport hunting dogs is permitted only by holders of a valid Missouri small game hunting permit Sept. 1 to March 31 and in designated areas from April 1 to August 31.  
Exhibits/Displays  Interpretive Displays-located throughtout area to provide area users with information about habitat and area management 
Field Trials with Special Use Permit  Contact Area office for details. 
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Hybrid Stripers stocked in some of the lakes in some years. Check with office for stocking information. 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Trout Good population. Winter fishing only (Nov-Mar) in Coot and Plover Lakes and Honker Pond (kids only). 
Hiking  Hiking trail only and multi-use trails for horses, bikes, and hikers. Other hiking opportunities on interior access trails.  
Horseback Riding  15 miles of multi-use trails. 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations. Contact office.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population. See Area Regulations. Dove hunting is permitted only by managed hunt during the first seven (7) days of the dove hunting season, except that dove hunting is prohibited on Labor Day and the weekend immediately preceding. Shooting hours are from 1:00 p.m. to sunset for the entire season incuding during the managed hunt portion of the season.   
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. See Area Regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population. See Area Regulations.  
Nature Viewing   
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special Use Permit Required 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boats for Rent Gopher Lake (3 boats)   Boats available April 1st through September 30th. Three boats are on the area.  
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Youth Camping Area (by special use permit)  Organized youth group camping only. Special use permit required. 
Dock - Fishingaccessible  One each at Coot Lake, Jackrabbit Lake and Catclaw Lake.  
Fishing Jetty/Platform  14   
Fishing Jetty/Platformaccessible  One each at Lake Nell, Coot Lake, Jackrabbit Lake, Plover Lake and Catclaw Lake.  
Other Archery Range  29 station archery range  
Parking Lotaccessible 33  7-Gravel Parking Lot with concrete pads.  
Picnic Tableaccessible 15   
Staffed Officeaccessible   
Visitor Centeraccessible   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond Pairie Hollow (reservation only) 7.00 acres Group activity educational lake. Closed except by reservation. 
Fishing Lake or Pond Honker Pond (kid's fishing only) 1.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Plover 15.30 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Jackrabbit 31.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Catclaw 42.20 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Tanglewood 5.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Bodarc 14.50 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Bluestem 14.70 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Coot 22.40 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Gopher 42.00 acres Four rental boats available.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Lake Nell 31.00 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Cottontail 26.60 acres  
Fishless Pond  12 5.00 acres  
Named Wetland Waterfowl Marsh 2.00 acres  
Other Numbered waterfowl hunt pools 0.00 count Waterfowl hunt pools are numbered on area maps. Closed to fishing.  
Stream - Permanent West Arm Big Creek 0.50 miles Creek dries completely some years. 
Stream - Permanent East Arm Big Creek 1.75 miles Creek dries completely some years.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1076.00  
Crop Land 589.00  
Lakes/Ponds 252.00 Prairie Hollow-7; Tanglewood-5; Bodarc-14.5; Bluestem-14.7; Coot-22.4; Gopher-42; Lake Nell-31; Cottontail-26.6; Catclaw-42.2; Jackrabbit-31; Plover 15.3; Honker Pond 1. 
Wetland 18.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 620.00 250 acres of native warm season grass plantings with some forb diversity. 
Other 75.00 Parking lots and roads. Office & compound. 
Glade 6.00  
Old Field 448.00  
Total Area Acres:3083.98 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Shawnee Trace Nature Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.50 
Multi-use trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 15.00 

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Shooting Range General Information






1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless otherwise posted

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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