Hornersville Swamp Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Rives, take Highway 164 west approximately 3 miles, then County Road 701 south to the area.


This is a mostly bottomland forest area with cropland and wetlands. Facilities/features: boat ramp and five floodways.

About This Area

Hornersville Swamp Conservation Area is in southernmost Dunklin County, two miles southeast of Hornersville.

This conservation area provides an excellent example of how the entire vicinity appeared before drainage and clearing changed the face of Missouri's Bootheel. The 3,166-acre area is a remnant of 2.4 million acres of bottomland hardwoods that once encompassed all of Dunklin, Pemiscot, Stoddard, New Madrid, and Mississippi counties.

The area is 80 percent forestland with the dominant trees being typical bottomland species. Overcup oak, green ash, and cypress are present in the very lowest areas while Nuttall oak, willow oak, water oak, pin oak, and hickory trees inhabit the slightly higher sites. The lowest elevation in Missouri, 230 feet mean (average) sea level, is found on the south end of the area.

Hornersville Swamp Conservation Area is adjacent to the Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. Hence, together these areas provide nearly 20,000 acres of wildlife habitat. Deer, raccoons, squirrels, and other forest inhabitants are plentiful, and when the area is flooded, mallards, and wood ducks feed heavily on pin oak acorns.

Management of the area is designed to protect and enhance one of the few remnants of bottomland hardwood timber in the Bootheel with special emphasis on providing habitat for migratory wintering mallards.

Over 600 acres of the area were heavily logged prior to 1980, and this portion is undergoing corrective measures to provide the desired tree composition.

Water management on Hornersville presents unique problems, because the area is at the end of floodway ditches and can flood overnight. Public use is prohibited except fishing and waterfowl hunting by boat only when the water level is at or above 239 feet on the Hornersville Gauge at the boat ramp.

There are 400 acres of open fields on the area that are managed through sharecropping agreements with local farmers to provide food throughout the fall, winter, and early spring. Milo is the dominant cereal grain in the large fields. The smaller open fields are disced to encourage the growth of wild foods such as wild millet, smartweed, ragweed, and pigweed. This overall management approach makes a diversity of food available to wildlife throughout the year.

General Information




Owned by MDC

  • Public use is prohibited, except fishing and waterfowl hunting by boat, when the water level is at or above 239' on the Hornersville gauge.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Migrating woodland species, nesting Mississippi kites, waders, and waterfowl are the common species that may be encountered while on Hornersville Swamp CA. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Fishing - Bass Fair population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Buffalo and carp 
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Archery/Muzzleloader methods only. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Good population. Opportunistic hunting when floodway ditches are high enough to flood the timber and fields 
Trapping with Special Use Permit   

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Stream - Other Elk Chute Levee  Graveled boat ramp off the Elk Chute Levee. South on Route TT from Highway 164, west on CR 730, then south.  
Parking Lot Agriculture Fields   

Go to Top of Page

Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Stream - Permanent Floodway ditch #1 3.50 miles 3.50 miles of frontage.  
Stream - Permanent Floodway ditch #66  3.50 miles 3.50 miles of frontage.  
Stream - Permanent Floodway ditch #81  3.50 miles 0.50 mile of frontage.  
Stream - Permanent Floodway ditch #259  3.50 miles 3.50 miles of frontage.  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Crop Land 440.00  
Forest and Woodland 2941.50  
Total Area Acres:3381.50 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

Go to Top of Page