SPANISH LAKE, Mo. — After extensive work, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff has reopened the River’s Edge Trail at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake.  MDC work crews completed restoration efforts on the trail last week and it is now accessible for hiking again.

“The trail was completely covered with debris, sand, and litter after the Missouri River breached our levee during the flood last spring,” said MDC Wildlife Biologist Jessi Tapp.  The trail had been shut down since that time.

Tapp explained that the silt and debris was so extensive the project required use of a bull dozer and chainsaws to clear it completely from the trail.  MDC crews also used the opportunity to widen and improve the trail.

The River’s Edge is a linear trail approximately 2.5 miles in length.  The trailhead is located near the boat ramp, just off of the Confluence Trail, and travels east along the Missouri River through bottomland forest on a natural surface path.  The trail ends at the Confluence Viewing Platform.  From there hikers can either backtrack or continue onto the paved Confluence Trail and double back to the boat ramp. The trail is predominantly flat and easy, with a number of excellent views of the Missouri River along the way.

“Everyone should be happy to know our trail has been officially reopened—and it looks great!” Tapp said.

The 4,318-acre Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is open year-round for hiking from a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset.  The area can be reached by taking the I-270 Riverview Exit and travelling approximately three miles north.

For more information about Columbia Bottom, including a downloadable map of the area and trails, go to https://goo.gl/vGzvit.