Buford Mountain Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Ironton, take Highway 21 north 8 miles, then Route U northeast to the area.


This is a forest area.

About This Area

Buford Mountain Conservation Area, located east of beautiful Belleview Valley, was purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation from the Nature Conservancy in 1979. The area was named after its settlement in 1812 by William Buford, who acquired the land through a Spanish Land Grant. Today, Buford Mountain covers 3,824 acres.

In the mid- to late-1800s, the charcoal industry flourished in the Belleview-Arcadia Valley. Old charcoal kilns still remain over the entire mountain.

The highest peak of the mountain is 1,740 feet above sea level. With most of the mountain hardened by granite known as Rhyolite, the area yields little permanent water. Limestone stream beds mark the base of the mountain. Several wet weather springs can be found over the area; these are usually dry, however, during summer.

The area's most outstanding feature is its glades, ranging in size from less than one acre to over 10 acres. These glades provide many scenic views and excellent opportunities to observe glade plants and animals. Because of the sensitive nature of the plant and animal communities and very thin soils common to the glades, activity on the glades is restricted to walking only.

Buford Mountain is home to wildlife species common to Missouri. This is a favored hunting area for turkey hunters, and some deer hunting occurs as well.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Glade and forest bird viewing opportunities. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Primitive Area  No amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Allowed all year. 
Hiking  Buford Mountain hiking trail is 10.5 miles long with an interior loop. 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
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
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Named Glade Bald Knob 10.00 acres A large glade on rhyolite rock.  
Wildlife Watering Hole  2.00 acres Eight fishless ponds each about 1/4 acre in size.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 3824.00  
Total Area Acres:3824.37 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Hiking trail (Difficult) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 10.50 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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