Jamerson C. McCormack Conservation Area

Driving Directions

South of Mound City at I-29 Exit 79, take Highway 159 south 3 miles to area.


This area contains forest, grassland, old fields, and savanna.

About This Area

Jamerson C. McCormack Conservation Area is in central Holt County, about five miles northeast of the junction of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska state lines. Mound City is five miles north of the area, and Loess Bluff National Wildlife Refuge borders the area to the west. The area can be reached via I-29 to Loess Bluff exit, then three miles south on Highway 159.

This conservation area was created in 1966 with a gift of 158 acres to The Nature Conservancy from Jamerson C. McCormack. The land was later leased to the Conservation Department. In 1977 Jamerson C. and Carson McCormack donated 67 acres to the Department, increasing the area to its present 227 acres.

Prevailing winds during the last glacial period deposited wind-blown soil into mounds nearly 100-feet thick on this area. Called "loess," this soil is characteristic of the Missouri River bluffs in this vicinity. Erosion of mounds of wind blown loess soil well over 100 feet deep has created a steep and rugged landscape. 

The western portion of the area is a designated Missouri Natural Area. Loess hill prairies found on the ridgetops here support eight plants at the edge of their range. Listed in the Missouri Species of Conservation Concern Checklist, these plants are more common on the arid Great Plains 100 or more miles to the west. The main hill prairie on the area is upslope to the left of the field road through the area and contains over one-half dozen plant species that are state listed species of conservation concern.

Controlled burning and selective cutting are management techniques used to help control woody species invading these prairies.The area is open to a wide variety of uses compatible with resource management.

The north end of this hill prairie provides a dramatic overlook of Loess Bluff National Wildlife Refuge and views are especially impressive as flocks of snow geese enter and leave the refuge in late November/early December and again in late February/early March.

General Information




Owned by MDC,Leased

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  This area has very good birding opportunities. A short but steep hike, to the loess hill prairie above the parking lot, provides a nice overlook of the Loess Bluff Refuge. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Primitive Area  No amenities provided.  
Hiking  No designated trails, but area access road provides a nice place to hike.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good 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   No amenities provided. 
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area McCormack Loess Mound Natural Area 112.00 acres 69 acres owned by MDC and 43 acres owned by The Nature Conservancy. For more information, visit natural areas.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Old Field 30.00  
Forest and Woodland 129.00  
Crop Land 8.00  
Native Prairie 33.00 Loess Hill Prairies 
Savanna 25.00  
Total Area Acres:225.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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