Columbia Bottom is a mosaic of natural areas including wetlands, forests, prairies and croplands. The area encompasses the 110-acre Duck Island on the Mississippi River, as well as more than six miles of river frontage.
A road runs through the area, with eight exploration stations along the way, where visitors can view surrounding habitats in a self-guided learning experience.
The confluence of Missouri River and Mississippi River – the fourth largest river system in the world – can be observed from the site's Confluence Viewing Platform, located at the end of the road.
The visitor center has a number of educational displays designed to help guests become acquainted with the site. Naturalist-led educational programs are frequently offered for the general public, plus special programs for school and scout groups. Please call ahead, as most programs require advanced registration. The area offers hiking, biking and river access.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is in North St. Louis County: take the Riverview Drive exit from I-270; travel north on Riverview about 2.8 miles and follow the signs.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is closed from one-half-hour after sunset until one-half-hour before sunrise, except for authorized hunting, fishing and boat ramp use.