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Celebrate the beginning of 2015 by taking a guided hike in a Missouri state park. Start a new tradition with your friends and family as you get some healthy exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.
There are 41 First Day Hikes from which to choose. Visit the website for details, meeting location and schedules at specific parks.
Note: The address shown above is for the Missouri State Parks headquarters in Jefferson City. Hikes are scheduled in locations throughout the state.
First Day Hikes are promoted by America’s State Parks. Join hikers from all 50 states. For details, visit americasstateparks.org.
This 4,790-acre owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation provides opportunities for a variety of outdoor pursuits and is one of the few public areas in Missouri where prairie chickens can still be seen. The mix of prairie, overgrown farm fields and forest habitats provides viewing opportunities for a number of songbird and wildlife species. Hikers will find a network of trails which criss-cross the entire area. There is also a 6.6-mile horse trail. Bicycling is allowed on service roads, roads open to vehicles and horse trails. Primitive camping (no amenities provided) is allowed at one designated site. Hunting for all major game species is permitted in season. Fishing opportunities exist on the area at 157-acre Bushwhacker Lake, 29-acre Willow Lake and three smaller ponds managed for fishing. Check with the Missouri Department of Conservation office in Joplin (417-629-3423) for boating and fishing regulations specific to the Bushwhacker Area.
Hike amid tall prairie grasses, colorful flowers and animals, including American bison and elk, at Missouri's largest remaining tallgrass prairie.
Sleep under the vast prairie sky at primitive campsites. Exhibits in the visitor center interpret the landscape. The park is located 16 miles west of Lamar.
The park offers a small number of primitive campsites and a backpack camp. Campfires are prohibited at the backpack camp. This is one of the largest remaining tallgrass prairies in Missouri. Bison and elk roam the park. A nature center museum, hiking trails and guided tours are offered. Park grounds: Sunrise-Sunset.
Once an important trail link in the pre-Civil War cattle trade that flowed between Texas and the western Missouri towns of Kansas City and Westport, this 3,635-acre area offers a number of outdoor recreational activities. Owned and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Shawnee Trail primarily consists of grassland habitat. This mix of open grasslands and overgrown fields provides good habitat for a number of songbirds and grassland wildlife species, which makes Shawnee Trail a potential destination for hikers and nature photographers. Hunting for all major game species is permitted in season. Fishing opportunities exist on a 68-acre lake and a 14-acre lake, both of which have good populations of catfish, bass and sunfish. Call the Missouri Department of Conservation's Joplin office (417-629-3423) for specific information about regulations pertaining to fishing and hunting at Shawnee Trail. The area has one site designated for primitive camping. Bicycling is allowed on service roads. Horseback riding is permitted only on roads open to vehicles. Pets must be leashed or confined, except when being used for hunting.
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