to Missouri’s state parks, some of life’s most beautiful adventures are
completely affordable. There’s not much of a price-tag associated with a day at
the park – but the memories are absolutely priceless.
feel like real explorers when they visit Ha Ha Tonka State Park, three miles southwest of Camdenton. In addition to caves, a spring
and a natural bridge, this park contains the massive remains of a circa 1904
stone castle. Be sure to take a camera, so you can capture phenomenal,
bluff-top views of the Lake of the Ozarks.
three miles south of Ballwin (a suburb of St. Louis), Castlewood State Park
presents excellent opportunities for hiking. Eight trails, of varying lengths
and difficulty, wind through the scenic park. Also, Castlewood boasts great
fishing, horseback riding, mountain-biking, and boating. Abundant picnic sites
allow visitors to enjoy lunch with a fantastic view.
your hike with a glimpse into history at Washington State Park,
12 miles southwest of De Soto. Ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings) can be seen
throughout the park. Hiking trails range from leisurely strolls to invigorating
power-hikes. If you’d like to add fishing to the itinerary, access to Big River makes fishing a
to be wowed by the formations at Elephant Rocks State Park, four miles north of Pilot Knob. There, billion-year-old granite
slabs stand end-to-end, looking very much like a string of circus elephants
standing nose-to-tail. Explore these massive rocks on a self-guided tour. Spend
time reading the names and comments carved into the red granite by 19th century
miners who worked in the area. Don’t forget to pack a picnic – it’s not every
day you get to dine among the elephants.
miles south of Cameron, Wallace State Park is a perfectly peaceful getaway. You’ll find excellent
bird-watching, as well as plenty of hiking trails and picnic sites.
than five minutes east of Troy you find a nature lover’s paradise. Explore the
rugged and beautiful Cuivre River State Park, on more than 38 miles of hiking, backpacking and equestrian trails.
The park offers a lake for swimming and fishing, plus camping, picnic areas and
a visitor center.
eight miles north of Patterson, Sam A. Baker State Park provides a wonderful getaway for active families. No matter your
favorite outdoor activity, you’re almost certain to find it here. Ride horses.
Take a leisurely (or challenging) hike. Pedal your bicycle. Enjoy a picnic
lunch with a scenic view of the St. Francois Mountains. On warmer days, embark
on a float trip. Sam A. Baker offers all the fun an outdoor enthusiast could
Do Not Carry Your Own Firewood. Many insects and diseases that kill trees
and destroy forests travel in firewood. Buy or gather firewood where you camp
and burn it all or leave it there.