Settle's Ford Conservation Area

About this Area

For more information call
(660) 885-6981
Total Acres

Settle's Ford Conservation Area is located on both sides of the South Grand River in southeast Cass and northeast Bates Counties and is easily accessed from Cass County Route B.
This 7,364-acre area was purchased from willing sellers, primarily using federal funds provided as compensation for the Trimble Wildlife Area, which was inundated by the Smithville Reservoir.
Southern Cass and Bates Counties were hotbeds of border violence before and during the Civil War. Eventually all residents were evacuated by federal troops under General Ewing's infamous Order No.11. Shortly after resettlement was permitted, a family with the name of Settle operated a mill and ford in the center of what is currently the conservation area.
Settle's Ford is rich in diversity and contains about 3,100 acres of bottomlands and 4,200 acres of uplands. Native warm season grasses, grain crops, and trees have been planted to provide winter cover and nesting habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
Water control structures are used in the bottomlands to provide shallow water for wetland dependent wildlife species.
The area contains portions of the old channel of the now channelized South Grand River, small glades, upland and lowland hardwoods,three small intermittent streams,six permanent water streams, two large open bottomland tracts,six fishable ponds, one fishless pond, and 14 wetland management pools. These features and others provide a wealth of habitat for many wild plants and animals and many recreation opportunities.
This conservation area was acquired in part through the Pittman-Roberson Wildlife Restoration Act administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Things to do when you visit: 
  • Waterfowl Hunting
    • Open Hunting
  • Hunting
    • Deer,
    • Quail,
    • Dove,
    • Rabbit,
    • Squirrel,
    • Turkey
  • Bird Watching
  • Trapping
    • Special Use Permit
  • Fishing
    • Black Bass,
    • Catfish,
    • Crappie,
    • Sunfish
  • Trails
    • Hiking
  • Entry PointEntry Point
  • Managed Public WaterbodyManaged Public Waterbody
  • MDC OfficeMDC Office
  • Parking LotParking Lot
  • PrivyPrivy
  • Hiking TrailHiking Trail
  • BoundaryBoundary
  • MDC Road - UnimprovedMDC Road - Unimproved
  • MDC Road - ServiceMDC Road - Service
  • MDC Road - ImprovedMDC Road - Improved
  • Dove FieldDove Field

Hours of Operation

Area Hours
Sunday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 4:00 AM - 10:00 PM
From Creighton, take Route B west 4 miles, then Index Road south 1 mile to the area's main entrance.
Area Regulations
Seasonal Hunting and Fishing Information