The Celebration Continues
ends on the opposite side along the Katy Trail.
A deck overlook is also being built on a spur off the trail. It provides a view of the Missouri River at a dramatic bend, as well as Marion Bottoms Conservation Area on the opposite side of the river. This area can be accessed by gravel road on the east or the Katy Trail on the west. A primitive camping site for users who want to camp off the Katy Trail is also available at this location.
Crappie fishing on a 5-acre pond and both mushroom and turkey hunting are popular activities in the spring. Fall is a good time to enjoy the colorful sugar maples and basswood trees along the ridge trail.
Hartsburg also happens to be famous for its Pumpkin Festival. Many years, the fields below the bluffs of Hart Creek Conservation Area at the Overlook site yield hundreds of bright-orange pumpkins in the fall.
Hart Creek Conservation Area is 657 acres and is located three-quarters of a mile northwest of Hartsburg on Jemerson Creek Road in Boone County.
Diana Bend Conservation Area
If the quaint town of Rocheport and the picturesque section of the Katy Trail between Moniteau Creek and the I-70 bridge were not attractive enough to entice you to this part of the state, Diana Bend Conservation Area now offers new developments sure to please enthusiasts of boardwalks, birding, waterfowl hunting or scenic views.
Winner of a Coalition for Recreational Trails Award, the project at Diana Bend Conservation Area consisted of constructing two new trails, two viewing decks and a wildlife viewing blind. A disabled-accessible boardwalk leads users from the Katy Trail at the old railroad tunnel (just west of Rocheport) around the hillside to an open platform and wildlife viewing blind. From the accessible blind, a person can observe the floodplain and wetland restoration in progress or sneak a peek at the variety of waterfowl and shorebirds that use this river area.
Leading uphill from the viewing platform is a second, steep wood-chipped trail. This trail traverses the hill the train tunnel passes through and ends at a higher overlook with commanding views of the conservation area wetlands and the Missouri River.
Diana Bend Conservation Area is 1,343 acres. More than half wetlands, it also contains riparian forest, old fields and cropland.
You can access developments at Diana Bend Conservation Area by traveling an eighth of a mile west of Rocheport on the Katy Trail. Rocheport is two miles northwest of Hwy. I-70 at the Missouri River Bridge on Hwy. BB in Boone County.
And a sneak preview...
In addition to these three conservation areas, similar development is occurring on Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area near McBaine in Boone County. A deck overlook and a set of steps leading from the base of an immense limestone bluff to the top is in the works. This will allow users to view wetland management and the abundance of waterfowl at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.
All the areas mentioned here are either adjacent or in close proximity to the Katy Trail, which is managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. So, get out and enjoy the Central Region, its varied trails and conservation areas and the Missouri River.
Questions about these and other Central Region conservation areas can be answered by calling the Missouri Department of Conservation Central Regional Office at (573) 884-6861. Information on all conservation areas can be found in the online Conservation Atlas at www.missouriconservation.org.