Get Back to Nature in Atchison County, Missouri

There are 115 Counties in the State of Missouri. If you are needing to escape from the city and get back to nature for a while, Atchison County, Missouri is a great place to do it!

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What to Do in Atchison County, Missouri

Tucked up into the northwestern corner of the state of Missouri, Atchison County is a great place to get away from it all, especially if you enjoy spending time in nature.

Atchison County is around 550 square miles in size. Yet, there are only around 5,300 people living there, as of 2015. It is, sadly, one of several places in rural middle America where the population is decreasing. But, if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful escape from the city, Atchison County is worth a look.

The slogan of Atchison County is “We have the corner on the good life.” And they might be right. This pretty little corner of the world is bordered by the Mississippi River and the states of Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. It is halfway between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska – approximately an hour-and-a-half away from each – making it the perfect distance away for a weekend “away from it all.”

Explore Nature in Atchison, MO

Brickyard Hill Conservation Area

Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/brickyard-hill-ca

Brickyard Hill Natural Area - Atchison County, Missouri - MAP

About

The Brickyard Hill Conservation Area was created in 1962. The original area of land was much smaller than the current size of 2,609 acres. Over the years, additional acres have been acquired, bringing the Conservation Area to its current size.

The Brickyard Hill Conservation area is so-named to commemorate a brick factory that was established in the area around 1900. The soil in the area is called “loess”. Loess soil is formed by deposits of silt and clay left behind with the retreat of the glaciers. The soil in this part of the country ranges from 10 to 90 feet deep and supports an abundant variety of plant and animal life.

Featured Activities

Hunting, Fishing, Hiking Trails, Camping, and Bird Watching.

Areas

Brickyard Hill Loess Mound
Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/brickyard-hill-loess-mound

When you visit the Brickyard Hill Conservation area, be sure to pay a visit to the Brickyard Hill Loess Mound. This acre piece of land is an amazing opportunity to see this area of the country largely as it was when the loess soil was deposited here back in the Pleistocene time period in history. These dry “loess” hill prairies are now found only in this corner of Missouri and in the river bluffs in extreme western Iowa. Plant lovers will want to pay attention, as there are nine plant species here that are not common to Missouri, but rather, are better adapted to the more arid Great Plains. Also, keep an eye out for the ancient bur oaks on the margins of the prairie. Some of these oaks have been around since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

Charity Lake
Lake and Fishing Info: fishing.mdc.mo.gov/reports/charity-lake

The beautiful Charity Lake is a 13-acre lake nestled in the loess hills in northwestern Missouri, in the Brickyard Hill Conservation Area. There is camping nearby and is the perfect spot for people who love to fish. This well-stocked lake is known for an abundance of Black Bass, Crappie, Catfish, and Sunfish.

Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area

Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/lower-hamburg-bend-ca

Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area - Atchison County, MO - MAP

About
The Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area is part of the Missouri River Mitigation and Recovery Project. The 2,371-acre area of land is managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who work to keep the land healthy, with a diversity of fish, wildlife, and plant life.

The entire Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area borders approximately seven miles of the Missouri River. This rich bottomland soil supports bottomland timber and a wide variety of vegetation. It is a great area to just sit back and watch the world go by, or to get active outdoors.

Featured Activities

Hunting, Boating, Fishing, Hiking Trails, Camping, and Bird and Wildlife Watching.

Nishnabotna Conservation Area


Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/nishnabotna-ca

Nishnabotna Conservation Area - Atchison County, MO MAP

About

For those who are really wanting to get away from everything for a little while, the Nishnabotna Conservation Area is a great choice. There are 2,907 acres of bottomland along the Missouri River, and only one road into the place. If you have a boat, be sure to bring it. There is an entire area that is only accessible by boat, and the peace and solitude you can find there is not to be missed.

Full of beautiful bottomland timber like Sycamore and Oak, and an abundance of plant life, if you watch closely you might even catch sight of a Great Blue Heron or a Bald Eagle.

Featured Activities

Hunting, Fishing, Boating, Hiking, Camping, and Bird Watching.

Star School Hill Prairie Conservation Area


Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/star-school-hill-prairie

Star School Hill Prairie Conservation Area - Atchison County, MO MAP

About

The small size (289 acres) of the Star School Hill Prairie Conservation Area makes it easy to dismiss. This little conservation area is also in two parts – making it seem even smaller. But those two little areas of land are actually quite important.

The natural areas of the Star School Hill Prairie CA are known as loess hills, and the soil there was left behind from the glacial period. These prairies support a diverse community of plant and animal life, and it is rare to find an area in the United States that is still relatively untouched by human hands. But the natural prairies of Star School Hill still look much the way they looked when Lewis and Clark camped there back in 1804.

Featured Activities

Hunting, Fishing, Hiking Trails, Camping, and Bird Watching.

Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area

Website: nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/tarkio-prairie

Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area - Atchison County, MO MAP

About

If you want to see what most of northwest Missouri looked like in the 1800s, the Tarkio Prairie Conservation Area will bring it home to you. The 57 acres that comprise the natural area within the full 769-acre CA, are some of the few remaining acres of the deep soil dry-mesic prairies that used to cover this part of the country. Made up mostly of loess deposits left behind from the receding glaciers, the Tarkio Prairie supports an abundance of plant and animal life. This prairie is one of three prairies in Missouri where the western prairie fringed orchid is protected. These beautiful white orchids are known for their scent and are pollinated by the night-flying hawk moth, which the orchids depend on.

This beautiful prairie is a must-see for nature lovers, especially if you love to see the land the way it used to be.

Featured Activities

Hunting, Fishing, Hiking Trails, Camping, and Bird Watching.

And When You Crave Civilization

Rock Port

Website: rpmo.com

About

No visit to Atchison County, Missouri would be complete without making a stop in Rock Port, the County Seat. This friendly little town of around 1300 people made a grand decision a few years back. In 2008, Rock Port became the first town in the United States to be fully powered by wind energy.

Places to Eat

Dusty Trail Steakhouse
1300 Hwy 136 West, Rock Port, MO
Phone: 660-774-6389
Website: DustyTrailSteakHouse.com

Places to Stay

Rock Port Inn
1200 Hwy 136 West, Rock Port, MO
Phone: 660-744-6282
Website: RockPortInMo.com

Aunt Martha’s House Bed and Breakfast
715 E. Main Street, Fairfax, Missouri
Phone: 660-686-0218
Website: auntmarthashouse.com

Things to Do

Liberty Theatre Performing Arts
417 South Main Street, Rock Port, MO
Phone: 660-744-5599
Website: MemorialBuilding.org

Rock Port RiversEdge Campground
1409 US. Hwy 136 West, Rock Port, MO
Phone: 618-795-0661
Website: CampingYourWay.net

Open from April to November. Bring your tents or RVs and camp out in a friendly place. You can even book a night in a cozy and romantic private cabin!

Feel the Wind Blow Across the Prairie

At first glance, it may be easy to look past Atchison County, MO. But this little spot in the world is a great place to get away from it all, and to catch a glimpse of middle America, the way it used to be. And there’s a lot to be said for that!

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