Approximately 60 percent of this 4,225-acre area is forested. The remainder is broken up into various habitat types, including croplands, grasslands, old fields, numerous wetlands, and ponds.
Nearly five miles of the unchannelized Chariton River runs through the area. This portion of the river is known locally as "The Narrows," because the river makes a 2.5 mile loop around Parson's Bend in the center of the area. At this point the river doubles back to within a few hundred feet of itself. A 100 to 200-foot-wide forested corridor is maintained along the river to protect the banks and maintain a healthy ecosystem.
The meandering river channel has created several oxbow lakes and natural marshes along the river, providing unique fish and wildlife habitat. The area also contains a heron rookery.
The Henry Clay Dean House site, once located on the northwest side of the area, is listed in the Missouri Historic Sites Catalogue. A shelter house and marker now designate the site.
The Conservation Department manages the area to provide public recreational opportunities and to protect soil and water quality. Management techniques include cropping, timber management, and prescribed burning to improve wildlife habitat.
During your visit to Rebel's Cove Conservation Area, you may notice forest improvement practices designed to improve tree growth, quality, and species composition.
The area was acquired in part through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.