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The Santa Fe Trail crossed the Missouri River here. Landmarks include artist George Caleb Bingham's house, the circa 1834 Huston Tavern, a one-room jail, a visitor center museum, camping, hiking trails and picnicking. The Huston Tavern offers dining in an 1860s atmosphere. Arrow Rock is 13 miles north of I-70.
At this site, Union troops defeated the pro-south Missouri State Guard in 1861; it was the northernmost Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. The site features camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and boating. History tours from one to six hours in duration are available. Guided natural history tours and hikes lasting up to two hours are offered. The site is located 10 miles north of Kahoka.
This is the location of the final confrontation of a 12-hour Civil War battle on July 5, 1861, where 6,000 Southern troops forced Union soldiers to retreat to Sarcoxie. An interpretive shelter explains the history of the battle. The site is unmanned and is managed by Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar.
The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film "Glory."
Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Camp Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound.
Information at the site details the battle, as well as the effect that the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry has on later Union decisions to allow African-American units to fight.
The park is located in Bates County, west of Butler, at the junction of County Road 1002 (also called Marth Road) and County Road 5001 (also called Cooper Road).
The site features the Civil War battlefield and the Anderson House, which was used as a field hospital during the September 1861 battle. Highlights include a visitor center with exhibits, an interpretive, self-guided trail on the battlefield and guided tours.
Bennett Spring is the state’s third-largest spring. The park features; among other activities: trout fishing; lodging; camping; a dining lodge; fly-fishing schools; a nature center; a swimming pool; float trips; hiking trails; a general store; and picnicking.
Bennett Spring is 12 miles west of Lebanon. Fishing hours vary by month. Trout season is March-October; catch and release is allowed at specific times the rest of the year.
A Missouri fishing license and daily trout tag are required to fish. Pets are not allowed in buildings. The park office is closed on state holidays.
The 625-acre Oxbow Lake is perfect for fishing. The park offers camping, a swimming pool, a reservable shelter and a boat ramp.
Campsites (58 with elect. & 18 basic) are available by reservation.
The park is an ideal area for bird watching, as it lies along a major migratory flyway.
Located 11 miles southwest of Mound City on Route 111.
The park reopened May 23, 2014. It was closed in 2011 because of a levee breach which caused severe flooding and damage.
Driving along the rural highways in southeast Missouri, travelers may notice an abundance of farmland. Amid this farmland, near East Prairie, 1,029 acres of the area's original landscape has been preserved and stands out above the rest.
This island of trees in a sea of agriculture is known as Big Oak Tree State Park. A boardwalk allows visitors to walk alongside champion trees and through wetlands. The interpretive center highlights the park's flora and fauna. Picnic sites and a shelter, as well as hiking trails are available. The park is managed by Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site.
Outstanding oak and oak-pine woodlands are features of this 2,082-acre park in the rugged Elk Hills region of southwest Missouri. These glades, woodlands and bluffs lie along scenic Big Sugar Creek. A three-mile hiking trail traverses the park's unique features, designated as the Elk River Breaks Natural Area. The park is managed out of Roaring River State Park.
The four-story, stone and brick water-powered mill dates to around 1867. The 140-foot Burfordville Covered Bridge crosses the Whitewater River that powers the mill. Cornmeal is ground as part of the mill tour. Picnic sites are available. Off of Route 34 onto Route OO to Route HH. Call for tour times. Tours: $4; ages 6-12, $2.50; younger than 6, free.
As early as 1805, Daniel and Nathan Boone, sons of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone, processed salt from Boone's Lick Spring. A trail with interpretive panels leads to the spring. Picnic sites are available. This historic site is managed out of Arrow Rock State Historic Site. Located 12 miles northwest of Boonville on Route 187, off Route 87.
A circa 1900 castle on a hill. Bothwell Lodge represents early 20th century extravagant living. It was built by Sedalia lawyer and politician John H. Bothwell.
Hiking, mountain biking and picnicking are available.
Bothwell Lodge is off Route 65, approximately six miles north of Sedalia.
For tour information, visit the website. Tours: $4; ages 6-12, $2.50; younger than 6, free.
This park, straddling the lush valley of the Meramec River, is an excellent location for canoeing and fishing. The park has hiking and mountain-biking trails for all skill levels–it is one of the best mountain-biking locations in the St. Louis area.
Open for day use only, the park features picnic sites and shelters, a boat ramp and hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.
This site was noted in William Clark’s journal in 1804. A half-mile trail takes visitors up a hill, past American Indian burial mounds and interpretive panels, to an overlook of the Missouri and Osage rivers. The historic site is managed out of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Located off Route 50, north on Route J.
This 135-acre memorial park area of the Confederate Home of Missouri is preserved in memory of the 40,000 Missourians who fought under the Confederate flag. Visitors can tour the cemetery and chapel. The site includes the chapel, cemetery, picnic sites and several small fishing lakes.
This park, four miles west of Trenton, is dedicated to Gen. Enoch Crowder, founder of the selective service system. It features camping, hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails, an organized group camp, picnic sites and shelters, and a lake for fishing and swimming.
More than 38 miles of hiking, backpacking and equestrian trails wind through this 6,393-acre park. Camping, equestrian camping, a lake for fishing and swimming, picnicking, an organized group camp and a visitor center are features. The park is located three miles east of Troy. Visit the website for park office and visitor center hours.
This site, in Hermann's historic district, interprets 19th century German-American immigration, history and culture. Tours include: the Strehly house (circa 1850), once the site of a German print shop and winery; the period decorated Pommer-Gentner House (circa 1840); two heritage gardens; and a barn. Admission: $4; ages 6-12, $2.50; younger than 6, free.
Tucked between colorful Ozark hills, Dillard Mill, bult in 1900, is one of Missouri’s best-preserved examples of a water-powered gristmill. The red mill overlooking the spring-fed Huzzah Creek makes a picturesque place to picnic and hike. Tours: $4; ages 6-12, $2.50; younger than age 6 admitted free.
The park is currently under development and not open for public use.
Don Robinson State Park in Jefferson County is made possible because of a generous donation from Don Robinson, a self-made businessman from the area. The 843 acres are located in the upper watershed of the LaBarque Creek, a high-quality stream supporting more than 40 species of fish.
Its location is key to the LaBarque Creek Watershed Conservation Opportunity Area. The property features sandstone box canyons, shelter caves, cliffs, glades, upland and bottomland forests and almost 650 recorded species of plants. The area's natural features also attract numerous migratory songbirds. Native shortleaf pine occurs in the area and may represent the northernmost location of this species in Missouri.
The park features camping, picnicking, a paved bicycle trail, equestrian and hiking trails, and an accessible group camp. The visitor center offers exhibits and interpretive programs.
This park, 32 miles west of downtown St. Louis, is dedicated to physician and surgeon Dr. Edmund Babler.
A trail leads to the point where the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers meet. Interpretive panels focus on the rivers and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The park's location is great for bird watching. Flooding occaisionally causes closure of the park. Check the website prior to your visit.
At this park, giant, billion-year-old granite boulders stand end-to-end, like a train of red circus elephants. Spend some time reading the names and comments carved into the red granite by 19th century miners who worked in the area.
A self-guiding trail (with Braille signage) winds among these geologic wonders and takes you past what remains of the long-dead mining operation.
Picnic sites and flush restrooms are available.
The park is off of Route 21, four miles north of Pilot Knob.
This historic site includes three houses: the 1818 Federal-style Felix Valle House; the vertical-log, 1792 Amoureux House; and the 1819 Shaw House. Exhibits interpret the lifestyles and history of early Ste. Genevieve. These are some of the finest examples of French colonial architecture in the nation. Tours: $4; ages 6-12, $2.50; younger than 6, free.
This reclaimed strip-mine area, 20 minutes north of Columbia off Route 63, is one of two state parks where off-road motorcycling and ATV riding are allowed. Trails and a motocross track are available.
There are seven strip-pits which have been flooded for swimming, canoeing and fishing. The park has 19 basic and 16 electric campsites.
For mountain-bikers, the park includes the challenging, 2.75-mile Kelley Branch Trail.
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Explore the Boone's Lick Region - Part II
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