Grand Trace Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From the west end of Main Street in Bethany, take Route W north 2.50 miles, then Route F west 5.50 miles to the west entrance of the area.


This area is a mixture of forest, old field, savanna, and grassland habitat. The area features primitive camping and two fishable ponds.

About This Area

This area is tucked away in what was once an expansive sea of prairie. The area was rich with wildlife, such as deer, buffalo, turkey, and prairie chickens.

Indian hunting camps were common here and Indian trails crisscrossed this wild and beautiful country. One main trail, the Grand Trace, connected the small, seasonal villages of the area with the St. Louis trading center, located at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

The Conservation Department purchased this area in 1979 from a grain production corporation. Subsequent acquisitions have increased the area to to it's current size.

Since the time of settlement around 1840, the timber of the region has repeatedly been cut over, grazed, and burned. Grand Trace Conservation Area now consists of about half woodland; most of it on the area's steeper slopes and along small creek bottoms. The remainder of the area is open fields, which are managed with farming, haying, prescribed burning, and food plots. Woodland management is also practiced on the area.

This conservation area was acquired in part through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  4 graveled pads  
Fishing - Bass Good population. Area ponds  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population. Area ponds 
Fishing - Sunfish Good population. Area ponds  
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. See dove map (available in August) for planted fields.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population.  
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    
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  3.20 acres  
Stream - Intermittent  1.40 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Native Prairie 100.00  
Old Field 205.91  
Savanna 100.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 300.00  
Lakes/Ponds 3.20  
Forest and Woodland 817.00  
Total Area Acres:1526.11 

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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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