MDC begins trail work at Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area in Callaway County

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MILLERSBURG, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) begins work this winter on a five-year plan to optimize hiking and multi-use trails at Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area. Conservation staff will conduct work in phases to minimize interruptions to area use, and enhance visitors’ experience in nature.

Several sections of redundant trails will be replaced with new loops near higher-use locations, and will tie-in to existing nature trails that surround the Little Dixie Lake. To improve safety and enhance user experience, several bridges and sections of trail that are difficult to maintain will be removed from the network. Renovations will offer improved hiking loops near parking lots, and enhanced maintenance of multi-use trails around the lake. New and existing trails will be blazed with color-coded markers and will create more options for visitors.

“We currently have two distinct trail systems that are very close to each other, but don’t connect and don’t offer users different experiences,” said MDC Recreational Use Specialist A.J. Campbell. “As we complete work on this project, we’ll be able to offer users the best possible hiking and biking experience on the area.”

MDC will update on-site signage and online maps as phases of work are completed. Stay up to date with MDC’s online atlas at, the Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area page at, and get the latest info in email or text message at

Little Dixie Lake Conservation Area, in Callaway County, offers visitors access to more than 700-acres of oak-hickory forests, prairies, old fields, and a 205-acre lake formed by the damming of Owl Creek. Numerous small, fishless ponds benefit woodland wildlife and various active management techniques are on display such as prairie restoration, prescribed burning, and timber stand improvement. MDC constructed 22 additional ponds for fisheries research, including vegetation control, stocking rates, and fish reproduction. 

The area offers opportunities for dog training, hunting, trapping, fishing, bird watching, and hiking and biking trails. A boat landing, ADA-accessible fishing jetties, parking lots, privies, and a wildlife viewing platform create diverse recreational opportunities.

Statewide, MDC conservation areas cover almost one million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.