Places To Go

By Larry Archer | January 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: January 2021
Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area

Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area

Getting Fit The Natural Way.

For those who are already struggling to keep that New Year’s resolution to get fit, the trails at Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area (SF&WA) offer an alternative to crowded gyms, a variety of fitness options, and views that can’t be seen from a treadmill.

Located on just over 2,700 acres in Christian County, Bus­iek SF&WA offers 18 miles of multi-use trails, giving users a choice in how they achieve their fitness goals, said Busiek SF&WA Manager Stephen Short.

“Hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, if the weather is good, that’s what people are going to be out there doing,” Short said.

Most of the trails are chal­lenging, so visitors should plan a route that’s suited to their abili­ties, he said.

“Most of them — I would say all of them — are fairly rough terrain if you take the full route,” Short said. “Now, there are sections that are not so bad if you go a short distance and turn around.”

A good workout isn’t all that a person gets from these trails. They also get some great views, he said.

“The trails we have offer some pretty dramatic views,” he said. “It depends on what trail you’re on, but it’s a dramatic, rolling, Ozark landscape.”

“In the wintertime, the trees will be bare, so that makes the views even better.”

—Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area Manager Stephen Short

What To Do When You Visit

Birdwatching Included in the Great Missouri Birding Trail ( The eBird list of birds recorded at Busiek SF&WA is available at

Camping Individual campsites. Requires permit.

Hiking Multi-use trails (hiking, biking, equestrian), totaling 18 miles.

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 squirrel

Shooting Range Rifle or pistol. 25-, 50-, and 100-yard lanes. Unstaffed.

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What To Look For When You Visit