Places To Go

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From Missouri Conservationist: February 2019

Northwest Region: Riverbreaks Conservation Area

Loess hills offer river valley views.

By Larry Archer

Before spring and its accompanying foliage arrives, visitors have one last chance — at least for another year — to see something pretty impressive from the bluffs of Riverbreaks Conservation Area (CA) in northwest Missouri.

“It’s got great views, especially in the wintertime when the leaves are off,” said Lonnie Messbarger, resource forester and Riverbreaks CA manager. “We’ve got several trails, service roads that act as trails, so folks can have easy access for hunting, or just to go look out over the Missouri River floodplain, because you can see into Kansas and Nebraska on the right day.”

Located in Holt County, the 2,307-acre area offers roughly equal parts oak and hickory hardwood forests and open areas, including grasslands, crop fields, and remnant prairie. Its shooting range, multi-use trails (open to both equestrians and bicyclists), and several stocked fishing ponds make it a day trip destination, while its proximity to Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge also makes it a great addition to a longer, outdoor venture. In February, opportunities abound for birders looking for winter migrants.

“Bald eagles are pretty common because of the steepness of the land, and they get a good view of everything,” Messbarger said.

Riverbreaks Conservation Area consists of two tracts totaling 2,306 acres in Holt County. To the east tract, take Highway 59 east from Oregon, then take Route O south 3.25 miles to the highway sign. To the west tract, take the same route as above, but continue south on Route O, and then take Route T 1.5 miles to the area. 816-271-3100

What to do when you visit

  • Bird-Watching The eBird list of birds recorded at Riverbreaks CA is available at
  • Camping Primitive camping (no facilities provided) is allowed adjacent to designated parking lots.
  • Fishing Black bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish
  • Hunting Deer and turkey Deer and turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey booklets for current regulations. Also quail, rabbit, and squirrel
  • Shooting Range Firearms range with 25-, 50-, and 100-yard targets. Trails More than 13 miles of hiking trails, as well as nearly 4 miles of multi-use (biking, equestrian, and hiking) trails.
  • Trapping Special-use permit required.

What to Look for When You Visit

  • Groundhog
  • Bald eagle
  • Bobcat
  • Red-bellied
  • Woodpecker

Also In This Issue

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