“The 6,987 acre area contains 3,000 acres of forest, in addition to grassland, cropland, old fields, prairie, and wetlands. Facilities/features: boat rentals, picnic areas, pavilion, hiking trails, 43 fishing jetties, fishing docks, staffed firearms range, archery range, five viewing blinds, and a visitor center. The area also has 32 fishable lakes and ponds totaling 550 acres.
Hunting for a variety of wildlife species is allowed. Special regulations exist for most of these hunting activities. – Most conservation areas remain open to the public during managed hunts.
Busch Hiking/Biking Trail in Busch Conservation Area is a lovely 3-mile loop trail. The surface is mostly gravel and sometimes uses the area roads. The trail is two connected loops: one small loop and one larger loop. The trail is flat – no hills to speak of – and winds through mostly woodlands with nice views of a couple of lakes. There are several old concrete ammunition bunkers along the way that remind you of a different era. The trail skirts the southwest edge of Lake 19, where the dogs can go in and get wet about half-way through the walk.
Directions: located in St. Charles County, it’s South on Highway 94 from Highway 40/61. West 1.5 miles on Highway D.
When you drive in the main entrance, turn left at the stop sign. Drive 1/2 mile on paved road to a fork in the road; you’ll see wooden signs on the right-hand side of the road marking Lakes 15 and 2. Option – meet at the gravel parking area at Lake 15 and follow each other to the trail head.
To find the trailhead: (continuing from Lake 15): Make a slight right on to the gravel road. Stay on the gravel road. At 1.5 miles along the gravel road, you’ll see a yellow diamond-shaped sign with an arrow pointing to the right to warn that there’s a sharp curve in the road. When you see that yellow sign, slow down and make the next left into the gravel parking area where you’ll see two gates. The trailhead sign (a wooden sign that says: Busch Hiking & Biking Trail/Length 3.0 miles) is leaning against one gate. Park in the small gravel parking area. The odometer in my car read 1.5 miles at the yellow diamond-shaped sign; and 1.6 miles at the trailhead parking area.