Yellow Creek Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Sumner, take Route RA south 1 mile, turn west (right) onto Hog Ridge Avenue, then immediately south 3.50 miles to the area.


This is a designated natural area consisting of lowland hardwood forest.

About This Area

Yellow Creek Conservation Area is in Chariton County and borders the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

The Conservation Department purchased this predominately timbered area for use as a natural history area in order to protect the wet mesic bottomland forest and the unchannelized portion of Yellow Creek that meanders through it.

The area contains several oxbows and sloughs as a result of historic Yellow Creek floods. These wetlands are home to a diverse population of wildlife and offer visitors a variety of aesthetic experiences.

Several miles of trails and a suspension foot bridge are maintained for hiking and visitor access.

Deer, turkey, and songbirds are commonly seen along the trails' winding routes.

The area is managed primarily for protection and preservation of its natural resources, however public recreation is encouraged.

Yellow Creek Natural Area is one of the largest blocks of bottomland forest in northwest Missouri. The trail paralleling Yellow Creek goes through stands of large shellbark hickory, swamp white oak, and bur oak trees.

Wood ducks and prothonotary warblers are relatively common here during the summer while red-shouldered hawks, red-headed woodpeckers, and pileated woodpeckers are nearly year round residents.

A rich variety of wetlands and bottomland forests occur in an area that includes Fountain Grove Conservation Area, Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge as well as adjacent Yellow Creek Conservation Area and Pershing State Park. Sometimes referred to as the "Golden Triangle", this area is home to migratory habitat for many kinds of birds and species of conservation concern.

The Missouri Department of Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Grand River Audubon Society, and interested private landowners are working cooperatively to enhance forest and wetland habitat in this Conservation Opportunity Area.

General Information




Owned by MDC

  • Waterfowl hunting is prohibited after 1:00 p.m.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Golden Triangle Important Bird Area.  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Two camping areas. No amenities provided.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population. Carp 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population.  
Hunting-Turkey Fair population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Waterfowl-Open Hunting Fair population.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Special Use Permit required - Chris Freeman 660/646-6122  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   No amenities provided. 
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Yellow Creek Natural Area 474.00 acres For more information, visit natural areas.  
Stream - Permanent Elk and Yellow Creek 4.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Wetland 18.00  
Forest and Woodland 600.00  
Total Area Acres:618.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
South hiking trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 0.50 
North hiking trail (Easy) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 1.60 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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