U.S. 63 Itinerary Part I

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Route 63 cuts a swath through the heart of Missouri, linking the farm fields of the north to the Ozark Mountains in the south, crossing the mighty Missouri River in between.


A. Long Branch State Park

This park features water recreation on the 2,430-acre Long Branch Lake, which has an excellent reputation for bass fishing.

B. Thousand Hills State Park

Features American Indian rock carvings (petroglyphs) more than 1,500 years old, and the 573-acre Forrest Lake. The petroglyphs are listed on National Register of Historic Places.


A. Painted Rock Conservation Area

Painted Rock Conservation Area consists of 1,480 acres. The Osage River intersects the property along the western boundary. Breathtaking views are offered from the Scenic Trail at two boardwalks and other locations. The forest contains six ponds, which are managed primarily for wildlife, and Clubhouse Lake. The lands show evidence of occupation by American Indians as early as 9,000 years ago. An Indian burial cairn, located along Osage Scenic Bluff trail, was constructed between 500 and 1,500 years ago. Area activities include bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking and hunting.

B. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Fascinating geologic formations are the principal features of this 2,272-acre day-use park three miles south of Columbia. Visit Devil’s Icebox Cave, the seventh longest in Missouri.