Located in Atchison County, Brickyard Hill Conservation Area was created in 1962. Adjoining tracts were later acquired to comprise its current acres.
The soil of the area is a type known as "loess." It was formed primarily by deposits of silt and clay after the retreat of the glaciers. Soil depth varies from 10 to 90 feet. The loess soil was found to be ideal for making bricks, and the area was named after a brick factory that was established here around 1900.
Because of its size and diversity, the area is managed for a wide range of game and non-game wildlife. Deer, turkey, and squirrels are abundant. Forested areas are diverse, containing lowland species like cottonwood and willow as well as upland hardwoods like hickory, American elm, red oak, and bur oak. A bur oak more than 300 years old has been found on a remote part of the area.
The Brickyard Hill Loess Mounds Natural Area is on the southwest side of the area. Dry "loess" hill prairies, found only in this corner of Missouri and the river bluffs in extreme western Iowa, are located on the blufftops here. Nine uncommon state-listed plant species better adapted to the more arid Great Plains to the west are found in these hill prairies.
Management of this area includes periodic prescribed burns to maintain the loess hill prairies. Erosion of mounds of wind blown loess soil well over 100 feet deep has created a steep and rugged landscape. Dry prairies on ridge tops with some plants more typically found in the Great Plains 100 miles or more to the west can be seen and accessed from a parking lot off of Route B on the north end of the area. These prairies contain over half a dozen plant species that are state listed species of conservation concern.
Anglers will find quality fishing for bass, bluegill, and channel catfish in 13-acre Charity Lake on Brickyard Hill.