Visitors Guide to the
Weldon Spring Conservation Area
MO-94
St. Charles County, Missouri
636-441-4554

 

Gravel Parking Lots Wildlife Viewing Hiking Trails Bike Trails Fishing Opportunities Hunting Opportunities

   

Weldon Spring Conservation Area is a mostly forested area with pasture, cropland, and some wetlands and glades. Incorporated in the area is the Weldon Spring Hollow Natural Area which features 385 acres of upland and bottomland forest, rugged riverbreaks topography, limestone cliffs, and bluff escarpments. The area is named after John Weldon, who came to this region in 1796 with a Spanish Land Grant for 425 acres. His acreage included the spring after which Weldon Spring is named.

During World War 2, the federal government acquired almost 17,000 acres in the area for the construction of a munitions plant. In 1948, all of the property, except the munitions plant, was given to the University of Missouri for an agricultural experiment station. In 1978 the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased 7,230 from the University. Additional purchases have expanded the area to its current size of 8,359 acres.

The acreage is divided into a very diverse array of habitats and natural features. The floods of 1993 and 1995 deposited sand over almost 1,000 acres of agricultural fields. This unique habitat provides almost 1,000 acres of valuable breeding, foraging, and nesting habitat for a variety of birds as well as habitat for other wildlife and invertebrate species.

Portions of the Weldon Spring Conservation Area were used by the Department of Army in the 1940's for TNT and DNT production and by the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1960's for uranium ore processing. The affected portions were all part of a federal environmental cleanup project and required to meet certain environmental health and safety standards. The area is now considered safe for all recreational pursuits allowed on the area, as well as the wildlife found within the area. To find out more about the history of these activities on the area, you can visit the Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center located on MO-94.

Katy Trail State Park passes through Weldon Spring Conservation Area and parallels the Missouri River for 5.3 miles and there is an access point to the bike trail by the boat ramp. Other features include a boat ramp on the Missouri River, two hiking trails, two hiking/biking trails (in addition to the Katy Trail) - the Hamburg Trail which links the Katy Trail to the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. There are 8 ponds that are fishable along with riverbank fishing on the Missouri River. Hunting for deer, dove, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, and waterfowl is allowed in season.

Bird Watching
If you’re a birder the than 8,000 acres, a variety of habitat types, several access points and nearly 30 miles of trails, make this area is a great place to add a few species to your life list. The Missouri Audubon Society maintains a checklist for birds that can be seen in this area. Among the over 200 bird species listed area are the worm-eating warbler, painted bunting, and blue grosbeak.

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


Directions: The Weldon Spring Conservation Area is
accessible from several parking areas along MO-94, south of I-64.


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







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