Visitors Guide to the
August A. Busch Conservation Area
2360 Highway D
St. Charles County, Missouri

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Educational Displays Accessible Hiking Trails Bike Trail Connection Accessible Wildlife Viewing Accessible Fishing Opportunities Accessible Boat Rentals Accessible Hunting Opportunities Accessible Archery Range Accessible Restrooms


The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area was purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1947 from the federal government. Mrs. August A. Busch, Sr. donated $70,000 towards the purchase of the area as a memorial to her late husband. In the early 1940's, the area was used by the Department of Army as a TNT munitions plant to support the World War II effort. 100 of the old TNT storage bunkers still exist on the property. The 6,987-acre Busch Conservation Area contains 3,000 acres of forest in addition to grassland, cropland, old fields, prairie, and wetlands.

The Busch Conservation Area also has 72 fishable lakes and ponds (photo left) ranging from tiny ponds of a few hundred square yards to the expansive 182-acre Lake 33. The 550 acres of water provide opportunities to catch bass, catfish, trout, muskie, crappie, and sunfish. The visitor center has 120 rental boats, bait, tackle, and licenses and will direct you to the lake managed for the fish species you’re after. There are 43 fishing of which 4 are disabled accessible.

Bird Watching
The lakes and ponds of the Busch Conservation Area provide much more than fishing opportunities. An incredible array of wildlife lives in or migrates through the property attracted by rich feeding areas and nesting boxes. Waterfowl such as geese and ducks can be seen as well as blue herons, sandpipers, and other shorebirds. Other habitats have attractive food sources for numerous birds including hundreds of songbirds, quail, hawks, owls, and an occasional eagle. There are 5 viewing blinds including 2 disabled accessible blinds located at refuge lake and on the Fallen Oak Trail (top photo.)

The Busch Conservation Area is one of the best places in metropolitan St. Louis to interact with nature. Developed habitats include oak-hickory woodland, a pine plantation, prairie, forest edge, and fields. There are 5 miles of small interpretive and non-interpretive trails through the various habitats. Hikers can encounter deer, turkey, and coyotes in the woods and grasslands and beavers in the park’s ponds and waterways. An auto tour brochure can be picked up at the area headquarters or at the bulletin boards in the main parking lot. The 8.7-mile driving tour loops through the center of the area and visits a number of different habitats and makes stops at the trailheads of all 7 hiking trails. With the exception of the Busch Hiking/Biking Trail the trails are all less than 1 mile in length.

The Busch Conservation Area has a Visitor Center that hosts a number of interpretive and informational programs. The Visitor Center has displays to represent habitat types on the area that includes 1300-gallon aquarium. Hunting for deer, dove, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, and waterfowl are allowed in season. There is also a staffed shooting range and 5 field archery ranges.

Visiting the August A. Busch Conservation Area
Visiting Hours: 6 am - 10 pm except for authorized fishing and hunting activities
There is no charge to visit the August A. Busch Conservation Area

Directions: The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is south on MO-94 from US-40/61, then 1.5 miles on Route D (between Weldon Spring and Defiance.)

GPS Coordinates
8° 42.337'
90° 44.402'

Busch Conservation Area - This site is maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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