Missouri's Beautiful Parks

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Article Tags:

parks , State Parks and State Historic Sites , outdoors , nature trails
Forces of Nature
Author: H|L-SM

After several months of winter slumber, the natural world awakens in all its beauty. Frozen rivers bubble back to life. Green leaves return to the trees. Animals peek out, ready to see what spring holds for them. Spring provides a perfect time to visit Missouri's parks. 

Near Ironton, Elephant Rocks State Park lets visitors see remarkable, billion-year-old granite formations up close. Be sure to have the camera handy, so you can snap photos of these circus elephant-shaped rocks, standing trunk-to-tail. Rock climbers love scrambling over these impressive boulders.

At Ha Ha Tonka State Park, stones take a different form: The park contains the mysterious ruins of an early 20th century castle. Known for its excellent hiking opportunities, this park near Camdenton boasts more than 15 miles of trails.

In St. Louis, Forest Park holds enough activities to delight everyone in the family. This beautiful park spreads across 1,371 acres — making it 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York City. Eight miles of paths provide smooth routes for jogging, skating and biking. Forest Park includes such renowned destinations as the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.

Table Rock State Park makes a wonderful destination for visitors who want to take in a Branson show — and experience the majesty of nature. Located just five miles west of Branson, the park is situated along Table Rock Lake. Take your running shoes or your bicycle for a journey along the paved trail.

Set against the gorgeous St. Francois Mountains, Sam A. Baker State Park, in Patterson, offers a splendid getaway for families who enjoy hiking, backpacking, biking, horseback riding and picnicking.

Near the Missouri-Arkansas border, in the town of Lampe, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park boasts numerous opportunities for adventure. Ride a bicycle. Explore the lovely park on horseback. Fish for trout. You can even take a private jeep tour, and zip through the park on a Segway.

You'll find one of Missouri's most exhilarating views at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, nine miles southwest of Ironton. Situated on the highest point in Missouri (at 1,772 feet), Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is home to the state's highest wet-weather waterfall. 

Discover natural beauty and uncover the past of an American icon at Mark Twain State Park. The park, which covers 18,000 acres in north central Missouri, is home to the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site. In addition to offering great insight into the life of the legendary Mark Twain, the park features hiking, camping and fishing — largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, walleye, perch, crappie and catfish all thrive in Mark Twain Lake.


 Elephant Rocks State Park
At this park, giant, billion-year-old granite boulders stand end-to-end, like a train of red circus ...

 Ha Ha Tonka State Park
The remains of a huge, circa 1905 European-style stone castle add an air of mystery to this park. Situated ...

 The St. Louis Zoo
This world renowned, 90-acre zoo is home to more than 18,000 exotic animals; many are rare and endangered. The ...

 Saint Louis Art Museum
One of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums, containing more than 33,000 works of art. ...

 Missouri History Museum
The Missouri History Museum – originally built as the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson ...

 Table Rock State Park
Visitors to Branson can make their headquarters at this park, located along Table Rock Lake. The park ...

 Sam A. Baker State Park
The St. Francois Mountains provide the backdrop for this scenic park. Great for families, it offers ...

 Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Many opportunities await you within this 10,000 acre slice of unspoiled Ozark paradise. The rugged landscape ...

 Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
At an elevation of 1,772 feet, this is the highest point in Missouri. The state's highest wet-weather ...

 Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site
Located in Mark Twain State Park, off Route 107, this museum encloses the two-room cabin in which Samuel ...