Columbia Bottom Conservation Area | Kids Out and About St. Louis

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Address: 
801 Strodtman Rd.
St. Louis , MO , 63138
Phone: 314.877.6014
38° 48' 36.216" N, 90° 11' 4.596" W
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Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is in north St. Louis County at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
 
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is situated at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers just downstream from the site of Lewis and Clark's 1803-04 winter camp. Located in north St. Louis County, this 4,318-acre area was purchased in 1997 to create an urban conservation area. A small town once known as Columbia and later as St. Vrain was located in this flood plain in the mid 1800s ...but was gone by 1870. The Missouri Department Conservation manages Columbia Bottom and has created a mosaic of bottomland habitats that includes shallow wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, prairie, croplands, 6.5 miles of river frontage, and a 110-acre island. These habitats attract a wide variety of resident and migratory wildlife for the enjoyment of all of our state's residents and visitors. One of the Department of Conservation's goals in managing Columbia Bottoms is to restore portions of the area to the conditions that prevailed at the time of Lewis and Clark's journey.

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area has a number of features that visitors can take advantage. Bicyclists and walkers can use an accessible five-mile limestone biking trail and there is an additional three-mile hiking trail runs parallel to the Missouri River. Activities at the site include bird watching, educational programs, canoeing or kayaking, and participating in managed hunts. An accessible boat ramp and an accessible fishing pier are located on the Missouri River. A unique feature of the area is a viewing deck at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The Howard and Joyce Wood Education and Visitor Center, created from a renovated barn, houses many natural history exhibits and is staffed by park rangers that hand out helpful information. An auto tour visits eight discovery stations that help visitors explore the different habitats of Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. Each of the discovery stations has accessible parking and children can pick up an exploration booklet at the Visitor Center with activities for each station.

Admission is free and pets are permitted on a leash.

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