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William H. Houlton Conservation Area


  1. Adjacent to Water
  2. Bird Watching
  3. Conservation Easement
  4. Monument / Info Sign
  5. Open Space
  6. Parking
  7. Prairie
  8. Scenic Views
  9. Trail - Grass
  10. Wooded

*Please note, there is no camping (tent or RV) in this park, or any City of Elk River park.*

 Conservation Area Map

View a map of the hunting area

Conservation Area Info

1801 Main Street - A 336-acre conservation area that provides unparalleled opportunities for natural recreation to the region's 3.3 million residents.

With seven miles of shoreline at the confluence of the Mississippi and Elk Rivers, the William H. Houlton Conservation Area was previously one of the largest pieces of unprotected land along this stretch of the Mississippi River. Now the area's floodplain forest, oak savanna, and restored prairie will provide outstanding opportunities for public recreation, including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, and canoeing.

In addition to its important natural values, the land is also culturally and historically significant. Two major battles between the Dakota and Ojibwe tribes took place here in 1772 and 1773, earning the site the Ojibwe name Me-guad-e-win-ing, or "Battleground."

The Trust for Public Land and the City of Elk River worked together to create the new recreation area, which will be managed by the City of Elk River. Funding for this project was provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

Hunting Regulations

This Conservation Area was acquired with funding provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund and is open to the public for hunting and fishing during the regular open seasons, as designated by the State of Minnesota and in accordance with current state hunting and fishing regulations, as restricted below:

  • Archery hunting only for small game, waterfowl, turkey, and deer.
  • Shotgun hunting for waterfowl is allowed, but only in the designated "Firearms Waterfall Hunting Area". See Map for area location.
  • This conservation area is surrounded by private residential property and public waterway, therefore, exercise extreme caution when discharging all firearms and bows.
  • When the designated parking lot is full (12 vehicles), the hunting capacity of the Conservation Area is full and no further access is allowed.
  • No dogs are allowed except for retrievers used for waterfowl hunters in season for the express purpose of retrieving downed game. All retrievers must be on a leash when traveling to and from the "Firearms Waterfowl Hunting Area".
  • No trapping is permitted.
  • Tree stands, boats, decoys, and other equipment must be removed daily.
  • No horses, ATV's snowmobiles or other unauthorized motorized vehicles are allowed.
  • No camping or non-permitted fires.
  • No target or indiscriminate shooting.
  • No pistols, rifles or muzzleloaders allowed.
For emergencies and to report non-hunting related issues, dial 911.
To report hunting violations, dial #TIP on your cell phone, or dial 1-800-652-9093
For general DNR Information, dial 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 1-888MINNDNR