Young Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Eureka, take Route W south, then Route FF west 3 miles.


This area is mostly forest with prairie and old fields. Facilities/features: a permanent stream (LaBarque Creek).

About This Area

Young Conservation Area is located in north-central Jefferson County, about five miles south of Eureka.  The original 1221-acre tract was acquired in 1986 from the Hilda Young Family with part of the funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Jones, Jr.  Additional tracts were added in subsequent years with a 6-acre donation from Richard and Janet Gleb, utilization of Stream Stewardship Trust Funds and a contribution from the USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program.

This property helps to maintain and enhance the ecological and recreational values of the LaBarque Creek Watershed, which supports a high quality stream system and diverse plant communities.  The watershed lies in northwest Jefferson County and consists of 13 square miles of land with 44% being publicly owned and over 86% of the area remaining forested.  As a result of the low level of development in the watershed and the protection efforts, the creek continues to support 52 species of fish, which is a diverse population that can be found no closer to the St. Louis area.

The area lies in the Ozark border region with soils derived from limestone and dolomite on the upper slopes and St. Peter sandstone in the valleys. As a result, there is a variety of plant communities, including upland dolomite/limestone woodlands and glades, limestone/dolomite and sandstone forests, and bottomland forests along with pine and bottomland tree plantings, warm season grass plantings and old fields on the lower slopes. The woods are dominated by oak, hickory, maple, and cedar with an understory of flowering dogwood and redbud.

The area is mostly forested and there are several intermittent streams, over 2 miles of LaBarque Creek, and two fishing ponds are present on the area. Currently, there are 6 miles of trails open to hiking through much of the area.

General Information

St. Louis



Owned by MDC

  • Firearms firing single projectiles are prohibited.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Especially good for forest interior and riparian species. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Demonstrations  Stream bank stabilization demo site and Natural Community Restoration demo sites (forest, woodland, glade.)  
Fishing - Bass Fair population. Largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth in creek; largemouth in ponds.  
Fishing - Sunfish Good population. Limited opportunity in ponds, longear and green sunfish in LaBarque Creek. 
Hiking  The scenic 2.5 mile Taconic Loop Trail is ranked easy to moderate difficulty. The 3.5 mile LaBarque Hills Trail is ranked moderate difficulty.  
Hunting-Deer Good population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Rabbit Fair population. Firearms firing single projectiles are prohibited.  
Hunting-Squirrel Good population. Firearms firing single projectiles are prohibited.  
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.  
Nature Viewing  Area offers excellent opportunity to view nature, such as spring wildflowers and native birds. 
Trapping with Special Use Permit  With special use permit only. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond  1.00 acres  
Stream - Permanent LaBarque Creek 2.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Grassland (non-prairie) 30.00 This area contains native warm season grasses. 
Glade 10.00  
Old Field 29.00  
Forest and Woodland 1149.00  
Lakes/Ponds 3.00  
Total Area Acres:1220.80 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
LaBarque Hills Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 3.50 
Taconic Loop Trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.50 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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