Canaan CA

Missouri Dept of Conservation
Gasconade County

News, Updates, & Warnings:   
Hwy A is closed for repairs just north of the Conservation Area.  To get to it at this time, you have to come from Bland to the south. 
Closed during deer & turkey hunting seasons.

From St. Louis, take I-44 west to the Hwy 50 exit.  (Exit 247)  Follow Hwy 50 west to Hwy 28.  Turn left and continue on Hwy 28 to the city of Bland. In Bland, turn north on Route A, which has a sharp right and then left turn, and follow, passing Rehmert Road, to a little road right next to a mobile home (it looks like a driveway) and turn right.  This road has no name, but just before the turn, MDC has a sign there.  You can see the mobile home’s ENS number sign which is A2 280.  Follow that road to the first parking lot on the left or  go a little further to the lot at the end of the road. This road is steep at the end.
The other trailhead is further down Route A to Boettcher Road.  Turn right on Boettcher Road and drive to Bock Road.  (Boettcher Road curves left, Bock Road continues straight).  Continue on Bock road to the large trailhead parking on the right, or keep driving a fit farther to the small lot where the road dead-ends.

Miles of Trails:
10.4 mile loop.

Equestrian Camping:
Yes, there is a larger middle lot on Bock Road that can be used for equestrian camping.
There is also a smaller lot, with about 3 back in spots at the end of Bock Road.  It’s not designated for camping, but a lot of people camp there.  The slots are not long enough for most horse trailers.

Trail Notes: 
This trail is mostly double track with a pretty wide corridor to follow.  Much of it is graveled so it’s almost an all weather trail, only a few places get boggy, and those that do, can get quite boggy.  

There isn’t anything spectacular to look at, but there is one very pretty cliff face to see at the northeast corner of the trail, and a lot of variety in terrain including forest, fields, hills, and water crossings.  A few interesting things to look at include an old cemetery and deep muck fen.  I especially like the north east corner of the trail.  There is a lot of small hills, one right after the other, some quite steep, making it seem like a mini roller coaster.  A few long steep hills keep it from being an easy trail.

Overall, the trail is in good condition and easy to follow.  There isn’t an over abundance of markings, but all intersections are marked with little arrows. There is orange tape hanging all over the place in trees.  Don’t try and follow them if the trail isn’t obvious and wide.  I think they were put out by hunters during hunting season and following them may get you lost.

One hazard to be aware of is wire fencing and barbed wire fencing in different places close alongside the trail.  If your horse should spook at the wrong time, it could be caught up in it.  One place even had one strand of barbed wire lose on the ground across the trail.  We cut it out and removed it, but it remains a possibility that more could be “unearthed” over time and trail use.

Other Trail Users: 
Hikers, mountain bike riders, and hunters.

Volunteers Helping With This Page:Laura Vonk


Trailhead Photos:
Large Equestrian Parking Trailhead Lot on Bock Road.


Gate is always kept locked shut.
Small entrance on left is what you and your horse will have to squeeze through to get to the trail.
Small campsite at trailhead lot at the end of Bock Road.


Second of the three campsites at end of Bock Road.
Third campsite was blocked by a half downed tree the day we visited.


Sign at small lot/campsites at end of Bock Road.
Trailhead Lot at end of  the “unnamed” road on the south side of the area.


Signs and gate to trails from Trailhead lot just above.
Typical Trail Shots:
Trail tread is quite often rocky.


Some parts of the trail are two track trails.


A few hills to climb.


Two somewhat steep hills to negotiate.  This one was shortly after rock was applied to make the trail tread last longer.


Trail markers used on the trail.  ATV’s aren’t supposed to be on this trail, but we have often seen signs of them being there.
Some trails are rocky and shady.
Some are sunny and dirt/grass base.
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)

(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)
Thank you Sherry and Cash for providing us with some great pictures!
(Photo courtesy of Sherry Richardson)

Scenic or places/items of interests:
What’s left of the spring house with a water trough.
Part of a rock outcropping in the northeast section of the trail.
Rock Bluff right next to rock shown above.
More rock in the same area.
You never know what things you’ll find along the trails.
Strange tree growth with a mini garden inside.
Some of that wire and barbed wire fencing found in various places along the trail.

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