Places to Go: Saline Valley Conservation Area

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

Saline Valley Conservation Area

From humble beginnings to considerable opportunities

Established in 1977 with a modest 292 acres, Saline Valley Conservation Area (CA) has grown to nearly 5,000 acres, with opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and more.

Located on 4,892 acres southeast of Eldon in Miller County, Saline Valley CA boasts a variety of habitats, ample parking, trails, and creek and river access. The habitats, which include dolomite and bottomland forests, glades, and a fen, draw a variety of birds, earning it a spot on the Great Missouri Birding Trail.

“The riparian habitat is good for attracting Louisiana waterthrushes, and the small wetland off Rock Hole Road attracts herons, the occasional bittern or marsh bird, and other wetland birds,” according to the birding trail website. “In the old fields and grassland areas, look for sparrows, grosbeaks, and meadowlarks.”

Between Saline, Jack Buster and Jim Henry creeks, and the Osage River, the area provides roughly 15 miles of stream corridor access, giving anglers ample fishing options.

Eleven small parking lots, trails, and nearly 5 miles of service roads open to year-round bike use provide easy access to all parts of the area, including King’s Bluff, a series of three 30-foot-high dolomite bluffs offering a scenic view of the Osage River.

View of Saline Creek at Saline Valley CA, Miller County, Missouri

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