Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is in north St. Louis County at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. To reach the area, go north approximately 2.8 miles from the I-270 Riverview Drive exit. Riverview Drive becomes Columbia Bottom Road at its intersection with Larimore Road.
The Conservation Department purchased this 4,318 acre area in 1997 to create an urban conservation area. The area includes a view of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, over 6.5 miles of river frontage, about 800 acres of bottomland forest and a 110 acre island.
A small town once known as Columbia and later as St. Vrain, was located in this river bottom. It was shown on plat maps from the mid 1800's but seemed to disappear by 1870.
A flood protection levee protects most of this bottom from minor floods. The great flood of 1993 overtopped this levee and flooded most of the area leaving behind sand deposits and debris. The area will continue to be prone to occasional flooding.
The Conservation Department is implementing a plan to create a mosaic of bottomland habitats in Columbia Bottom that will include shallow wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, prairie and cropland. These habitats will attract a wide variety of resident and migratory wildlife for the enjoyment of all our state's residents and visitors.
Public access facilities including roads, trails, a river access and a viewing area at the confluence were constructed in 2002. Habitat improvements and construction of additional facilities including a river pump station, visitor center and additional roads and trails will continue through 2004. Portions of the area may be closed to the public as this construction continues. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to make improvements to the area.
Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is closed from one half hour after sunset until one half hour before sunrise daily except for authourized hunting and fishing activities and launching and landing boats.
Rules and Regulations
-- Bicycles are permitted only on designated trails and service roads.
-- No free running pets.
-- Dogs must be leashed or otherwise confined when not being trained or used for authorized hunting.
-- Motor vehicles are restricted to the area parking lot.
-- Camping, target shooting, horseback riding, fireworks and open fires are prohibited.
-- Hunting is permitted only during managed hunts or by holders of a valid daily tag.
-- Fishing is permitted in the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by statewide regulations.
-- Trapping of furbearers allowed only with a special use permit.