Holly Ridge Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Bloomfield, take Route E east, then County Road 517 south 2 miles.


This area is mostly forest (770 acres total), but also has 20 wildlife food plots (30 acres total), five native warm-season grass fields (60 acres total) and 101 acres of old fields. Facilities/features: archery range, camping, pavilion, Holly Ridge, and Beech Springs natural areas (sand forests with acid seeps and springs).

About This Area

Holly Ridge Conservation Area is in Stoddard County, four miles northeast of Dexter. The area can be reached from county gravel roads off Highway 60 and Route E.

This 1,000-acre conservation area was purchased with Conservation Department funds and a donation by The Nature Conservancy. Two natural areas, Holly Ridge and Beech Springs, are located here. The 84-acre Holly Ridge Natural Area, which was donated to the Conservation Department by The Nature Conservancy in 1975, protects 26 rare or endangered plant species. Beech Springs Natural Area consists of 35 acres and was established to protect the perched bog, sometimes called a hanging bog. A perched bog is a natural pond located on an upland site. This particular bog is surrounded by a stand of large red, black, and white oak.

During your visit to Holly Ridge Conservation Area, you may view various forest improvement practices designed to improve wildlife habitat, maintain watershed quality, and to enhance tree growth, quality, and species composition. Signs of disturbance are only temporary and the forest will soon return to normal.

Wildlife management practices include planting fields to serve as food sources for animals, creating watering ponds and harvesting timber, which provides improved forage and cover for wildlife.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  On multi-use trail. 
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Primitive camping area with gravel parking pads. No other amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Seasonal closures may apply. 
Hiking  Multi-use trail and area access trails. 
Horseback Riding  On multi-use trail. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Dove Fair population.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population. Hunt under statewide regulations  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
Hunting-Squirrel 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.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   Gravel parking pads. No other amenities are provided. 
Other Archery Range  Archery range 
Parking Lotaccessible  1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad. 
Pavilionaccessible  Disabled accessible 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Beech Springs Natural Area 35.00 acres Sand forest and small spring with beech trees. For more information, visit natural areas.   
Designated Natural Area Holly Ridge Natural Area 84.00 acres Acid seep and sand forest natural communities. For more information, visit natural areas.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #1 1.80 acres  1.8 acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Pond #2 0.25 acres 0.25 acre  
Fishless Pond  0.25 acres  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Other 36.08 Gravel pits 
Grassland (non-prairie) 60.00  
Forest and Woodland 764.00  
Crop Land 30.00  
Old Field 101.00  
Total Area Acres:991.08 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Holly Ridge Horse Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 8.00 

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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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