Castor River Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Marble Hill, take Highway 34 west 12 miles. Continue west to access campgrounds, trails and range, take Route Y south from Highway 34.


It is nearly all forest and is home to Blue Pond Natural Area. Blue Pond is the deepest natural pond in Missouri. Facilities/features: primitive camping, multi-use hike/bike/horse trail, numerous intermittent streams, and one permanent stream.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bicycling  Color coded loop trails with trailheads throughout the area. 
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  No amenities provided. 
Camping - Primitive Area  No amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Seasonal closures may apply. 
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good population.  
Horseback Riding  Color-coded multiuse trail popular for horseback riding. 
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. Dove field management in some years. In other years dove hunting is poor. 
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 Trace Creek Camping Area  Fire rings, six defined campsites. 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites Horse Camping Area  Horse hitching posts, picnic tables, fire rings, and defined campsites. Camping area is at trailhead for multiuse trail. 
OtheraccessibleShooting Range  This range has three back stops 25, 50 and 100 yards. Each has 4 shooting benches. Range is disabled accessible. Disabled accessible privy on site. Shooting range may be closed on Tuesdays for maintenance.  
Parking Lotaccessible 18  Disabled parking at shooting range 
Privy/RestroomaccessiblePrivy  Located at Shooting Range 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Blue Pond Natural Area 44.00 acres Deepest sinkhole pond in the state; 66 ft. deep; fishing, swimming, and boating are prohibited. For more information, visit natural areas.  
Fishing Lake or Pond  8.00 acres No public boat ramp available. Carry-in boats are welcome. 
Fishless Pond  35 8.75 acres These are 35 wildlife / fishless watering holes ( about 1/4 acre each in size) which may or may not hold water year round.  
Stream - Intermittent  50 27.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Pond Creek 1.00 miles Small stream not recommended for fishing. 
Stream - Permanent Grassy Creek 0.75 miles Small stream not recommended for fishing. 
Stream - Permanent Castor River 0.25 miles Access to Castor River from Conservation Area is very difficult. 
Stream - Permanent Trace Creek 1.00 miles Small stream not recommended for fishing. 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 9159.00  
Lakes/Ponds 8.00  
Crop Land 64.00 Food plots and permittee farm crop land. 
Old Field 260.00  
Total Area Acres:9677.95 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Yellow Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 1.60 
White Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 1.10 
Blue Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 0.90 
Green Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 3.00 
Orange Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 10.80 
Pink Trail (Moderate) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike/Horse) 2.10 

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Shooting Range General Information






1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.

Click Shooting Ranges for more information.

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