Yellow Creek Conservation Area is in Chariton County and borders the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
The Conservation Department purchased this predominately timbered area for use as a natural history area in order to protect the wet mesic bottomland forest and the unchannelized portion of Yellow Creek that meanders through it.
The area contains several oxbows and sloughs as a result of historic Yellow Creek floods. These wetlands are home to a diverse population of wildlife and offer visitors a variety of aesthetic experiences.
Several miles of trails and a suspension foot bridge are maintained for hiking and visitor access.
Deer, turkey, and songbirds are commonly seen along the trails' winding routes.
The area is managed primarily for protection and preservation of its natural resources, however public recreation is encouraged.
Yellow Creek Natural Area is one of the largest blocks of bottomland forest in northwest Missouri. The trail paralleling Yellow Creek goes through stands of large shellbark hickory, swamp white oak, and bur oak trees.
Wood ducks and prothonotary warblers are relatively common here during the summer while red-shouldered hawks, red-headed woodpeckers, and pileated woodpeckers are nearly year round residents.
A rich variety of wetlands and bottomland forests occur in an area that includes Fountain Grove Conservation Area, Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge as well as adjacent Yellow Creek Conservation Area and Pershing State Park. Sometimes referred to as the "Golden Triangle", this area is home to migratory habitat for many kinds of birds and species of conservation concern.
The Missouri Department of Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Grand River Audubon Society, and interested private landowners are working cooperatively to enhance forest and wetland habitat in this Conservation Opportunity Area.