Painted Rock Conservation Area is located on Highway 133, seven miles west of Westphalia in Osage County.
The lands of Painted Rock Conservation Area show evidence of occupation by Native Americans as early as 9,000 years ago. An Indian burial cairn, located along Osage Scenic Bluff trail, was constructed between 500 and 1,500 years ago.
The property was purchased in 1877 by a group of Jefferson City dignitaries, who named it the Painted Rock Country Club. Their successors sold the property in 1946. The Department of Conservation purchased the property from a private individual in 1981.
Painted Rock Conservation Area consists of 1,480 acres. The Osage River intersects the property along the west boundary. Breathtaking views are offered from the Scenic Trail at two boardwalks and other locations. The forest contains six ponds, which are managed primarily for wildlife, and Clubhouse Lake. The forest consists primarily of oak and hickory, with the areas along the Osage River dominated by bottomland hardwoods. Several small glades can be found throughout the area and offer a kaleidoscope of wildflowers from May to October.
Timber harvesting is managed to improve wildlife habitat, and 60 acres of open land serve as wildlife food plots on a crop rotation basis.
This Conservation Area was acquired in part through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.