Bob Brown Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Forest City, take Holt County Road 290 west 2.50 miles to the area.


This area contains more than 1,000 acres of wetlands along with cropland, old fields, grassland, and forest.

About This Area

This area which was named for the late Robert A. Brown, a St. Joseph conservationist, consists of 3,307 acres of bottomland and is bounded by the Missouri River for three miles.

The rich bottomland soils support mixed lowland hardwood forest, and also are planted with cool- and warm-season grasses and agricultural crops. A major portion of the land is restored Missouri River wetlands, which provide habitat for migrating waterfowl as well as resident species. The area is primarily managed to provide wetland habitat. The area's proximity to Loess Bluff National Wildlife Refuge (five miles) provides excellent opportunities to observe bald eagles, shorebirds, and migratory waterfowl.

Wildlife viewing is encouraged. Public use is allowed throughout the year, but non-hunters are prohibited from the waterfowl shooting area during waterfowl hunting season, unless they are members of a hunting party authorized to use the area and remain with the group.

This area has been designated by Audubon Missouri as an Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs are sites that have been identified by Audubon as those that are the most crucial for bird population, due to their abundance and/or diversity of birds present. Peak times for viewing waterfowl occurs in mid-November and mid-March. Pedestrians will find good wildlife viewing from the levee roads and trails. Mid-March to early April usually offers an excellent opportunity to view waterfowl in their breeding plumage. From late April through May, the boardwalk to the accessible blind is an excellent area to look for songbirds while the road between Ringneck Roost and Sandpiper Flats (which is closed shortly before and during waterfowl seasons) provides a chance to view shorbirds, wading birds, and marsh birds such as black-crowned night herons, great egrets, greater yellowlegs, yellow-headed blackbirds, and soras.

General Information




Owned by MDC

  • Use or possession of lead shot prohibited.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Best early fall and late winter outside waterfowl season. This area has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Boat-in along Missouri River  Three miles of Missouri River frontage.  
Camping - Primitive Area   
Fishing - Catfish Good population. Missouri River access 
Fishing - Other Good population. Buffalo, Carp - Missouri River 
Hiking  Kent D. Smith memorial boardwalk goes through forest and marsh. Boardwalk ends at a viewing blind. Both facilities are ADA accessible.  
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 Good population. Click on link to dove management map (available in August). Non-toxic shot only.  
Hunting-Pheasant Good population. Non toxic shot required.  
Hunting-Quail Fair population. Non toxic shot required. 
Hunting-Rabbit Good population. Non toxic shot required. 
Hunting-Waterfowl – Morning Draw Good population. Managed waterfowl drawing daily (1 pm closure)  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites    
Hunting Blind - WaterfowlaccessibleKent D. Smith Memorial Boardwalk and Viewing Blind  This hunting blind is ADA Accessible and can be reserved by calling 816-271-3100. 
Parking Lotaccessible 11  3 Gravel Parking Lots with a ADA concrete pad.  
Privy/Restroomaccessible  2 ADA  
Viewing Blindaccessible  Viewing blind is located at the end of a 1200' boardwalk. This also serves as the ADA waterfowl hunting blind. If the blind is not reserved for waterfowl hunting it may be used during waterfowl season as a viewing blind. 

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Other Wetlands 1300.00 count This area is intensively managed for waterfowl and upland game birds (pheasants)  
Stream - Permanent Missouri River 3.00 miles Three miles of frontage includes 12 wing dikes with footpaths from road to river.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Lakes/Ponds 3.00 Limited fish populations 
Wetland 1302.00  
Old Field 800.00  
Crop Land 850.00  
Forest and Woodland 200.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 130.00  
Other 22.00 Roads and parking lots. 
Total Area Acres:3307.14 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Kent D. Smith Memorial BoardwalkaccessibleDisabled-Accessible Trail 0.20 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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