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.
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.
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 Missouri Audubon Society
checklist for birds that can be seen in this area.
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.
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.
the August A. Busch Conservation Area
6 am - 10 pm except for authorized fishing and hunting activities
There is no charge to visit the August A. Busch
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.)
Conservation Area -
This site is maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation.