Places to Go: Gist Ranch CA

By Larry Archer | June 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: June 2022

Gist Ranch Conservation Area

The not quite wild west — but close

Few places in Missouri spark memories of Hollywood’s idea of the wild west, but Gist Ranch Conservation Area (CA) has guns and horses. “Ranch” is even in the name, and it’s located in Texas County.

Gist Ranch CA’s 11,240 acres includes multiuse trails and a shooting range that attract both horseback riders and shooters, said Piney River District Supervisor Randall Roy.

“The shooting range is probably the most popular feature for area users; Gist Ranch has a really nice range,” Roy said. “There is a shotgun range, pistol range, 100-yard and 300-yard rifle range. So, the range gets a lot of use year-round, and then there’s over 10 miles of horse trail, so the area sees a fair amount of equestrian use as well.”

But if you’re looking for wide open spaces and a “home-on-the-range” vibe, Gist isn’t going to cut it. Roughly 96 percent of the area is woodland and forest, and while the open areas — the glades — make up just a small portion of the landscape, they’re worth seeing, Roy said.

“My favorite part would be the glades, there are some really nice glades out there” he said. “But I’m a wildlife biologist who has managed glades my whole career, so I could be a little biased.”


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation Manager - Laura Scheuler