Donaldson Point Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From New Madrid, take Route WW east, then Route AB south, and County Road 405 to the area.


This is a predominantly forest area with large stands of bottomland hardwoods. Facilities/features: improved camping, fishable lakes and ponds, and a permanent stream (Mississippi River).

About This Area

Donaldson Point Conservation Area is about six miles southeast of New Madrid. The area can be accessed from county gravel roads off Route WW and Route AB.

The area's 5,785 acres are at the north end of Donaldson Point, which is formed by the New Madrid Bend Loop of the Mississippi River. This same loop isolates a portion of the state of Kentucky. The Mississippi River forms part of the east and west boundaries of the conservation area and provides about seven miles of river frontage.

Construction of the levee created about 60 acres of ponds that are open to the public. The land is nearly flat. During seasonal flooding, large portions or all of the area may not be accessable.

The forest trees on Donaldson Point include cottonwood, willow, ash, elm, maple, pecan, sycamore, boxelder, hickory, and some bottomland oak species.

Donaldson Point also is home to several species not usually seen in the Mississippi lowlands. These include the endangered Swainson's warbler that nests in giant cane, Mississippi kites, bald eagles, interior least terns, swamp rabbits, and cotton mice.

The Conservation Department purchased the land for Donaldson Point Conservation Area in 1984. The land was formerly owned by Anderson-Tully Corporation.

General Information


New Madrid


Owned by MDC

  • All public use is prohibited, except fishing and waterfowl hunting by boat, when the Mississippi River water level is at or above 34' on the New Madrid gage.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  There is a good variety of species present throughout Donaldson Point Conservation Area. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. The area also provides a good view of the Mississippi River. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Designated camping areas have picnic tables and fire rings. 
Camping - Primitive Area  Camping is allowed on or adjacent to parking lots, unless otherwise posted. No amenities provided. 
Camping - Walk-in/Float-in/Backpack  Walk-in camping is allowed, EXCEPT during all deer and turkey seasons when camping is allowed on or adjacent to graveled area parking lots. 
Canoeing  Canoeing is somewhat limited to the borrow pits along the levee. Although it does provide a good opportunity to canoe in a bottomland type setting. 
Fishing - Bass Fair population. There are different regulations for area lakes and the Mississippi River. See Area Regulations. 
Fishing - Catfish Good population. There are different regulations for area lakes and the Mississippi River. See Area Regulations. 
Fishing - Crappie Good population. There are different regulations for area lakes and the Mississippi River. See Area Regulations. Fishing can be especially good after the Mississippi River floods the lakes, then recedes. 
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, Buffalo. There are different regulations for area lakes and the Mississippi River. See Area Regulations.  
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population. There are different regulations for area lakes and the Mississippi River. See Area Regulations. 
Hiking  No designated trails. Access roads provide good hiking. 
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer hunting is permitted under statewide seasons and limits except: only antlered deer may be taken during all portions of the firearms deer season.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. Statewide regulations apply. 
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population. Statewide regulations apply. 
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Annual Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet and annual Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population. Waterfowl hunting is permitted, but only is available when the area naturally floods from the Mississippi River. Statewide regulations apply. Non-toxic shot only may be used. 
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Contact Missouri Department of Conservation New Madrid Forestry Office for further information: 1-573-748-5134. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Other Dawson Hole Boat Slide  Dirt boat ramp to Dawson Hole 
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   A picnic table is provided.  
Parking Lot  10   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Donaldson Point Natural Area 1000.00 acres Natural areas provides additional information.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Dawson Hole 11.00 acres Eleven acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Conran Dike Hole 9.00 acres Nine acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Bowman Hole 38.00 acres Thirty-eight acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Round Hole 3.00 acres Three acres  
Fishing Lake or Pond Tressle Hole 24.00 acres Twenty-four acres  
Named Forest Donaldson Point State Forest 5447.00 acres This includes the Natural Area portion of the area. 
Stream - Permanent Mississippi River 7.00 miles Seven miles of Mississippi River frontage.  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Crop Land 275.00 Row Crops, with food plots left annually. 
Forest and Woodland 5447.00 Bottomland Riverfront Forest 
Lakes/Ponds 63.00 Various named and unnamed borrow pits and holes. 
Total Area Acres:5945.00 

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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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