White River Trace Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Highway 72 in Salem, take Route H west approximately 9 miles to Dent County Road 253. Headquarters is approximately 1.30 miles south on Dent County Road 253.

About This Area

This 2,044-acre area, which was purchased in 1988, takes its name from an old Indian trail running across the southeast portion of the area.

Under the Indian removal Act of 1830, the Cherokee were removed from their native lands in the southeastern United States and forcibly moved to Oklahoma. Peter Hilderbrand's detachment of 1,766 Cherokees separated from other groups in Crawford County and traveled through the White River Trace Area in March 1839. They later rejoined the main trail at Marshfield.

The White River Trace later became a major route for settlers traveling west. Nearby Mt. Hermon Cemetery began with graves of these early travelers.

White River Trace is about 80 percent open ground consisting mainly of native warm-season grasses and early successional plant types.

Management of the area has produced quality upland wildlife habitat, especially for bobwhite quail and other grassland bird species, such as grasshopper sparrows and dickcissels. This type of habitat is uncommon on the Salem plateau and the area provides a unique, recreational and wildlife viewing opportunity for this part of the state.

Before 1988, the property was used for a large beef cattle operation, resulting in little plant diversity, primarily fescue, and relatively poor wildlife habitat.

General Information




Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Grassland/shrubland species; winter sparrows; over 150 different species identified using the area. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  No amenities provided. 
Fishing - Bass Fair population.  
Fishing - Catfish Fair population.  
Fishing - Sunfish Fair population.  
Hiking  Hiking opportunities on several miles of internal service roads. 
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.  
Hunting-Other Good population. Woodcock  
Hunting-Quail Good population. Quail hunting is permitted from 1 November - 15 December. Quail may be taken only by holders of a valid area daily quail hunting tag, which is available on the area.  
Hunting-Rabbit Good 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   No amenities provided. 
Parking Lotaccessible  1-Gravel Parking Lot with a concrete pad.  

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishing Lake or Pond 1, 2, 3 7.27 acres  
Fishless Pond  57 8.18 acres  
Other Osage Trail 0.00 count Approximately 1.1 miles of the historic Osage Indian Trail traverses the southern portion on the area. This trail was used by explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in the early 1800's and by the Hildebrand Detachment of Cherokee Indians during the Indian Relocation of the mid 1800's. 
Stream - Intermittent Kissock Creek 1.00 miles  
Stream - Intermittent  5.20 miles  
Stream - Intermittent Barnitz Prong - Dry Fork Creek 0.90 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Grassland (non-prairie) 1048.40  
Lakes/Ponds 7.27  
Crop Land 100.00 Dove fields 
Savanna 60.00  
Crop Land 18.40 Small grain food plots 
Other 18.22 Headquarters site, barns, fishless ponds, roads, and parking lots 
Forest and Woodland 791.71  
Total Area Acres:2044.00 

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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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