Fort Crowder Conservation Area

Driving Directions

In Neosho at the Highway 59 and Route HH junction, take Route HH east 3.50 miles.


Forest, grassland, and old fields. Facilities/features: picnic areas, shooting range, and an archery range.

About This Area

Fort Crowder Conservation Area, located in southern Newton County, was once part of the old, World War II Camp Crowder Army Base. The U.S. Army selected the Neosho site for the base because of its proximity to water, railroads, and highways.

Visitors to the area can still see foundations, fruit trees, open fields and other remnants of many of the hundreds of small farms purchased by the federal government for the 60,000-acre base.

Camp Crowder was named for Judge Advocate General and U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Enoch H. Crowder.

Thousands of soldiers went through basic training here before the camp was decommissioned in the mid 1950s, including Mort Walker, who immortalized the Camp as Camp Swampy in his syndicated comic strip, Beetle Bailey.

Fort Crowder Conservation Area, encompassing 2,362 acres, is approximately 60 percent forested. Primary species include white, black, post, blackjack and red oaks, hackberry, elm, black cherry, black walnut, and ash. The remainder of the area is open and includes 200 acres of native warm-season grasses, 100 acres of crop fields and 600 acres of fields maintained in an early successional stage.

The area hosts various game species, including quail, rabbits and doves in the open areas and large numbers of deer and squirrels. Turkeys have been stocked here and are now present in good numbers.

During your visit to Fort Crowder Conservation Area you may view various forest and wildlife improvement projects in progress from the 11 miles of trails that wind through the area. Wildlife habitat management includes the creation of watering ponds and the manipulation of fields to provide added food sources. Timber harvests, which result in additional forage and cover for forest wildlife are also an important element in habitat management.

Fort Crowder also has a very nice unstaffed firearms shooting range and archery range. The shooting range located on Owl Road features 25, 50 & 100 yard ranges as well as an informal shotgun field. Shotgun shooters must provide their own clay targets and thrower. The shooting range is closed on Mondays for maintenance. The archery range is located on eastern edge of the conservation area on Parrot Road and features a walk through field range as well as a static archery range.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  11 miles of multi use trails and service roads. 
Bird Watching  Diverse bird species seasonally use the area. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Seasonal closures may apply. 
Hiking  11 miles of multi use trails and service roads. 
Horseback Riding  11 miles of multi use trail and service roads. 
Hunting-Dove Fair population. See dove map (usually available in August) for planted fields  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
OtheraccessibleShooting Range  Firearms shooting range - closed on Mondays. Features 25, 50, 100 yard ranges as well as an informal shotgun field. Shotgun shooters need to provide their own clay targets and thrower.  
Other Archery Range  Archery Range has a walk through field range as well as a static archery range. 
Parking Lot  10   
Privy/Restroom   One at archery range, one at shooting range. 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishless Pond  15 3.50 acres  
Spring Gibson Spring 50000.00 # gallons per day Picnic/camping area nearby. 
Stream - Intermittent  10 6.50 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 1836.00  
Old Field 101.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 273.00  
Lakes/Ponds 3.00  
Total Area Acres:2362.80 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Nature Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.70 
Camp Swampy Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 11.00 

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Shooting Range General Information

94W 03.554

36N 36.48




Sunrise to Sunset

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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