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.
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.
the Weldon Spring Conservation Area
6 am - 10 pm except for authorized fishing and hunting activities
There is no charge to visit the Weldon Spring
Weldon Spring Conservation Area is
accessible from several
parking areas along MO-94, south of I-64.
Conservation Area -
This site is maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation.