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Trail Guide

Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area

  • Trails: Moniteau Wilderness Trail—10 miles
  • Unique features: Childhood home of General Omar Bradley
  • Contact by phone: 573-884-6861
  • Detailed information: visit our online atlas and search “Rudolf”

Named for one of the men who established the Conservation Department, Rudolf Bennitt CA covers 3,515 acres straddling Boone, Howard and Randolph counties. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent much of his childhood here. Most of the rolling terrain is forested. The Moniteau Wilderness Trail is open to hiking, biking and equestrian use. Currently under renovation, the trail passes by savannas, white-oak forests, tall-grass prairie and 48-acre Rudolf Bennitt Lake, which has a disabled-accessible boat ramp, fishing dock and restroom. The trail is loop-based to offer multiple routes. Some old trails are difficult to traverse. Trail and camping facility renovations began in 2006 and will continue for several years. Walk-in camping is permitted, and there is a 20-unit campground on County Road 2920 on the area’s west side.

Pro Photographer Secrets

Tips for photographing on conservation areas.

Eagle Bluff Conservation area, near Columbia, has great wildlife-photo opportunities in the summer. American bitterns, least bitterns, soras and blue herons can be seen fishing.

  1. Get there before sunrise to locate wading birds. Most animals are more active in the morning and evening when temperatures are cooler.
  2. Approaching animals in your vehicle will yield the best close-up photos.
  3. Keep your eyes and ears ready for songbirds, including indigo buntings and a variety of warblers.

Hot Dang, Fishin’ in the City

Urban fishing lakes bring angling into town.

Once upon a time, fishing was a rural activity. Today, dozens of Missouri towns and cities have in-town fishing opportunities, thanks to the Conservation Department’s Urban Fishing program. The program began in St. Louis in 1969. Since then it has expanded to Kansas City, Springfield and dozens of other communities. Some urban fishing sites are in city parks. Others involve conservation areas or community lakes. The Conservation Department manages these waters and stocks fish ranging from trout in some lakes during the winter, to catfish, carp and bullheads in the summer. To find an urban fishing lake near you, call the nearest regional conservation office or use the Conservation atlas. Call the same offices for information about fishing clinics, or visit our online events calendar.

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