This riverside area in Andrew County boasts 13 miles of hiking, biking, or horseback-riding trail through field, forest, and savanna.
Honey Creek Conservation Area (CA) is a 1,448-acre tract nestled alongside the Nodaway River, two miles north of where Lewis and Clark passed by in 1804. The area was purchased in 1961, and it is managed to promote a diversity of wildlife while providing ample opportunity for the public to enjoy that diversity through hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
This large conservation area is home to a variety of habitat types that are maintained to appeal to a wide range of wildlife. Forest, woodland, and savanna are wooded communities found on the area; these communities have varying levels of tree density, and each can appeal to different wildlife. Wooded areas are complemented by open fields and food plots, or small crop fields grown to provide food and shelter for wildlife such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey. The 1.4 miles of river frontage on the southwest corner of the area also provides unique primitive camping and quality catfishing opportunities.
The 13-mile Honey Creek Multi-Use Trail consists of two portions that allow hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Trail A meanders through the northern half of the area and is approximately 5.5 miles, while Trail B circles the southern portion and is about 7.5 miles. The trail system includes area roads and fields with many accesses to shorten or lengthen a trek. The trails wind through oak-hickory forest and open fields accented by rocky sections where switchbacks on steep terrain help hikers and bikers to navigate the slopes. Birdwatchers and horseback riders are common sights along the trail in the spring and summer months.
Along the southwest portion of Trail B, scenic overlooks of the Nodaway River valley beckon hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Shaded resting areas with hitching posts along both trails provide some relief from hot summer days, and fall tree colors are spectacular. Other natural features on the area include numerous draws and creeks that flow after a rain. Honey Creek CA also hosts a primitive campground at the area entrance with additional hitching posts, fire rings, and an ADA-accessible privy. Honey Creek CA is located approximately 18 miles north of St. Joseph on Route RA, off the I-29 Fillmore exit.
—Sean Cleary, area manager
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