Missouri: The Perfect Place to Park

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State Parks and State Historic Sites , Salem , Thayer , Marshall , Kirksville , Trenton , Columbia , Lake of the Ozarks , American Indian
Missouri: The Perfect Place to Park
Author: H|L
We have quite a lot to be proud of here in the Show-Me State: bustling cities; lovely landscapes; world-class cultural institutions; you name it, Missouri has it. Our state parks stand out as true gems, each offering a unique experience and a beautiful backdrop. Everyone – from the serious hiker to the weekend cyclist to the curious explorer – will find something delightful at the campsites and areas Missouri's state parks.

Begin your adventure at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Enjoying the distinction of being Missouri’s largest state park, this natural paradise offers activities for every member of the family. Launch your boat into the expansive lake; pedal a mountain bike up and down the trails; and, if the afternoon gets a bit warm, cool off with a trek into Ozark Caverns

Fishing getaways at Missouri State Parks

Memorable adventures await at Finger Lakes State Park, north of Columbia, where those with a need for speed ride ATVs and go off-road motorcycling. In addition to these fast-paced motorsports, Finger Lakes State Park offers canoeing, swimming and is one of the best fishing getaways in Missouri. There also are ample campsites for visitors who want to stay a while.

At Crowder State Park in northern Missouri (just west of Trenton), rolling green hills make this the perfect surface for bicycling, hiking or horseback riding. Scenic Crowder Lake provides an ideal spot for fishing or boating. Getaways to Crowder State Park are perfect for a fun-filled day in Missouri.

Thousand Hills State Park, near Kirksville, combines lovely lake views with fascinating history, including American Indian rock carvings (petroglyphs) dating back more than 1,500 years. The carvings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are a must-see for anyone interested in Missouri history. Thousand Hills State Park boasts plenty of additional activities, including fishing, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking and camping. 

Wonders near campsites in Missouri

There is plenty to do in an area once inhabited by the Missouri Indians at Van Meter State Park. Camping at the park, situated 12 miles northwest of Marshall, you learn all about the early days of the Show-Me State, thanks to displays within Missouri's Indian Cultural Center, and at a hand-dug earthwork, known as the Old Fort, plus at several burial mounds. Complement this amazing history lesson with plenty of outdoorsy fun — Van Meter State Park offers picnic sites, trails, campsites and a small lake that's perfect for fishing.

At Grand Gulf State Park, see for yourself why this amazing geographic feature is frequently called “The Little Grand Canyon.” Formed when the ceiling of an enormous cave collapsed, the gulf's walls soar as high as 130 feet. At the park, located six miles west of Thayer, visitors view the Grand Gulf via hiking trails and scenic overlooks.

Montauk State Park, southwest of Salem, pairs natural beauty with charming hospitality. Montauk State Park Lodging facilities allow guests to enjoy modern services, while exploring this lovely park at the headwaters of the Current River.


 Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Missouri's largest state park has 89 miles of shoreline, two swimming beaches, boat-launching areas, ...

 Finger Lakes State Park
This reclaimed strip-mine area, 20 minutes north of Columbia off Route 63, is one of two state parks ...

 Crowder State Park
This park, four miles west of Trenton, is dedicated to Gen. Enoch Crowder, founder of the selective ...

 Van Meter State Park
The Missouria Indians, who gave their name to the state and river, inhabited this area. The park features ...

 Grand Gulf State Park
Often called the Little Grand Canyon, the gulf was created when the ceiling of a giant cave collapsed ...

 Montauk State Park
The seven springs within Montauk State Park form the headwaters of the Current River. Regular stocking ...

 Ozark Caverns
Traditional, children's, and adult tours are offered, all using hand-held lanterns. Bats, salamanders ...

 Thousand Hills State Park
Thousand Hills State Park includes American Indian rock carvings (petroglyphs) more than 1,500 years ...