Plan Your Visit

Refuge Map 2018

Covering over 367 miles along the lower Missouri river a visit to the refuge takes some planning.  Scroll down to explore the refuge.  

Directions, Address & Contact Info

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge headquarters is located 8 miles east of Boonville, Missouri.  Take Interstate 70 to exit 111, (Highway 179 and 98 exit). Follow directional signs to highway 98 away from the gas station at the exit. Just 600 feet from the exit you reach the junction of 179 and 98, turn left on 98. Travel 1/2 mile and turn right on Brady Lane.  Continue straight ahead to the office when Brady Lane takes a sharp right.    

Headquarters office open Monday-Friday, 7:30 am -4:00 pm, except holidays. Please call first to confirm someone is available to meet with you.  Refuge land around headquarters open one half hour before sunrise until one half hour after sunset.  Other Refuge lands open 24 hours for Refuge permitted activities.  

Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

18500 Brady Ln.  

Boonville, MO 65233


Points of Interest

Located in Missouri at seventeen separate units most along the final 367 miles of the Missouri River, the refuge currently manages approximately 20,000 acres for the benefit of wildlife and you. Nicknamed the Big Muddy, the Missouri Rivers muddy waters provide the lifeline for the refuges’ wildlife. The river’s historic ability to carve out wetlands, side channels and sloughs within its floodplain greatly benefited wildlife. Alterations to the river restricted its ability to create this habitat. The refuge provides an area for the river to recreate this habitat in some of its units.

All the refuges units are open to the public and many have at least one parking facility and informational kiosk. Some units have trails, scour lakes for fishing and all are open to hunting and wildlife viewing.

 1. Jackass Bend Unit
2. Baltimore Bottom Unit
3. Cranberry Bend Unit
4. Cambridge Bend Unit
5. Jameson Island Unit
6. Lisbon Bottom Unit
7. Overton Bottoms North Unit
  8. Overton Bottoms South Unit
  9. St. Auberts Island Unit 
  10. Berger Bend Unit
11. Boone’s Crossing Unit
12. Cora Island Unit

13. Schmitt Unit new 2016

14. West St. Clair Unit new 2016

15. Moresi Unit new 2016

16. Providence Bend Unit new 2018

17. Panther Creek Unit new 2018

Visitors should visit the Jameson Island Unit adjacent to the historic community of Arrow Rock, Missouri. Here you can hike the Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery and learn about the history and habitat of the area from interpretive signs along the trail. The one mile hike ends along the banks of the Missouri River. 

To experience the floodplain forest, visitors can hike the 3.2 mile Little Muddy loop trail at the Overton Bottoms North Unit. For a unique fishing experience try the Diana scour lake. This 11 acre lake scoured out by the river during the flood of 1993 is located adjacent to the Little Muddy Trail, and just a short hike from the trail head.  Anglers have the opportunity to catch numerous different species of fish including bass, crappie, catfish and carp.

Know Before You Go

When planning a trip to the refuge, it is important to wear appropriate footwear, sturdy shoes for land excursions and to dress for the weather. Consider bringing water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable. Many of the refuge units are subject to flooding resulting from precipitation miles upstream. Visitors should monitor predicted river levels before venturing out on the refuge by visiting this website. Navigate to the gauge closest to the unit you are visiting. Don't put yourself in a life threatening situation by quickly rising floodwaters.