Geography of Dallas County, Missouri

Geography of Dallas County, Missouri

Dallas County is located in the southwestern part of the state of Missouri, United States. It is known for its rolling hills, fertile valleys, and abundance of natural beauty. Covering an area of approximately 543 square miles, Dallas County offers a mix of rural landscapes, small towns, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Location and Borders

According to Deluxesurveillance, Dallas County is situated in the Ozarks region of Missouri, bordered by the counties of Camden to the north, Laclede to the northeast, Webster to the east, Greene to the southeast, Polk to the southwest, and Hickory to the west. The county seat is Buffalo, which is centrally located and serves as the administrative and commercial center of the region.

Topography and Terrain

The topography of Dallas County is characterized by its rolling hills, wooded areas, and fertile valleys. The county lies within the Ozark Plateau physiographic region, which is known for its rugged terrain and karst topography.

The northern part of Dallas County features more rugged terrain, with steep hills and rocky outcrops, while the southern part of the county is flatter and more agricultural, with fertile soils and extensive farmland. The county is crisscrossed by several creeks, streams, and small rivers, which carve through the landscape and provide habitat for fish and wildlife.


Dallas County experiences a humid subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons marked by hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The region’s climate is influenced by its inland location and elevation, which result in cooler temperatures and higher precipitation levels compared to other parts of Missouri.

Summer temperatures in Dallas County typically range from the 70s to 90s Fahrenheit (around 21-32°C), with high humidity levels adding to the discomfort. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months, bringing heavy rainfall and occasional severe weather.

Winter temperatures are colder, with average highs in the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (around -1 to 4°C) and lows in the 20s to 30s Fahrenheit (around -6 to -1°C). Snowfall is common during the winter months, with snow cover persisting for several weeks or months, particularly in the northern part of the county.

Rivers and Waterways

Dallas County is home to several rivers, streams, and creeks, which provide habitat for fish and wildlife and support local ecosystems. The most significant river in the county is the Niangua River, which flows through the central part of the county and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

Other notable waterways in Dallas County include the Little Niangua River, the Pomme de Terre River, and the Osage Fork River, each of which meanders through the county’s countryside and provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Pomme de Terre Lake

Pomme de Terre Lake is a man-made reservoir located in the northern part of Dallas County. It was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s for flood control, recreation, and wildlife habitat purposes. The lake covers approximately 7,800 acres and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and picnicking.

Pomme de Terre Lake is surrounded by scenic hills and forests, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The lake’s clear waters are home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, catfish, and walleye, making it a favorite spot for anglers.

Parks and Conservation Areas

In addition to Pomme de Terre Lake, Dallas County is home to several parks, conservation areas, and wildlife refuges that showcase the region’s natural beauty and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. Notable parks in Dallas County include the Pomme de Terre State Park, which offers camping, hiking, and picnicking facilities, as well as access to the lake for fishing and boating.

Other popular parks in Dallas County include the Bennett Spring State Park, the Niangua River Conservation Area, and the Lead Mine Conservation Area. These areas provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species and offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities.


Agriculture is an important part of the economy of Dallas County, with fertile soils and a favorable climate supporting a variety of crops and livestock. The county is known for its production of cattle, hogs, poultry, hay, soybeans, and corn, as well as specialty crops such as fruits and vegetables.

In addition to traditional agriculture, Dallas County also has a growing number of small-scale farms and organic producers, who sell their products at farmers’ markets, farm stands, and through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Agritourism is also becoming increasingly popular in the area, with farms offering activities such as pick-your-own fruit, farm tours, and farm-to-table dining experiences.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Dallas County has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century, with several historical sites and landmarks that showcase the region’s heritage. Notable historical sites in Dallas County include the Bennett Spring Fish Hatchery, which dates back to the 1930s and is one of the largest trout hatcheries in the state.

Other historical landmarks in Dallas County include the Preston Community Church, the Dallas County Courthouse, and the Bennett Spring Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These sites offer visitors a glimpse into the county’s past and its role in shaping the history of Missouri.


Dallas County, Missouri, is a region of natural beauty, agricultural richness, and historical significance. From its rolling hills and fertile valleys to its scenic rivers and lakes, the county offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether exploring the parks and trails, fishing on the rivers and lakes, or learning about the region’s history and culture, visitors to Dallas County are sure to be captivated by its scenic landscapes and welcoming atmosphere. With its diverse ecosystems, rich agricultural heritage, and abundance of recreational opportunities, Dallas County exemplifies the best of Missouri living and invites visitors to experience its beauty and hospitality.

About the author