Places to Go

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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2018

Kansas City Region, Baltimore Bend Conservation Area

A series of unfortunate events results in fortunate outdoor opportunities.

by Larry Archer

Born of one disaster, named for another, and neighbor to the product of yet a third, one might be tempted to compare Baltimore Bend Conservation Area (CA) to the wildly unlucky Baudelaire siblings of Lemony Snicket’s popular children’s book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Created by the glacial movements of the Ice Age, Baltimore Bend CA derives its name from the Baltimore, a 19th century riverboat that ran aground and sank in the nearby Missouri River. The 1,202-acre area abuts the 1,748-acre Baltimore Bottom Unit of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which was developed following the Great Flood of 1993.

That first “disaster,” the Ice Age, gave the area its rugged terrain and soils that foster the growth of the hardwood forests that cover 80 percent of the area, according to Resource Forester David Doyle, Baltimore Bend CA manager.

“During the Ice Age, that windblown soil would accumulate against the Missouri river, and it just built up,” Doyle said. “That’s why the terrain is so jagged, but the fertility is astronomical.”

The combination makes the area a destination for turkey and deer hunters, as well as birders and hikers looking for more of a challenge. With five ponds on more than 1,200 acres, Baltimore Bend CA supports a variety of wildlife. Although primarily forested, the area also has scattered grasslands, where wildflowers, such as these black-eyed Susans, can be found beginning to bloom in the spring.
Baltimore Bend Conservation Area consists of 1,202 acres in Lafayette County. From Waverly, take Highway 24 west 3 miles. N39° 43’ 44.75” | W91° 24’ 45.25” 816-228-3766

What to do When You Visit

  • Bird-Watching Included in the National Audubon Society’s West-Central Missouri River Bends Important Bird Area. The eBird list of birds recorded at Baltimore Bend CA is available at
  • Camping Primitive camping only. No amenities provided.
  • Fishing Black bass, white bass


  • Deer and turkey Deer and turkey regulations are subject to annual changes, so refer to the Spring Turkey and Fall Deer and Turkey booklets for current regulations.
  • Dove, Quail, Rabbit, and Squirrel Trapping Special use permit required.

What to look for when you visit:

  • Bobcat
  • Barred owl
  • Luna moth
  • Indigo bunting

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen

Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler