Find Abundant Outdoor Fun in Missouri

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Article Tags:

Great Outdoors , Outdoor Adventure , outdoors , golf , canoe rental , State Parks and State Historic Sites
Connect with nature and enjoy the scenery across Missouri.
Author: Stephen Foutes
The day is here. The guys’ getaway in Missouri you’ve been thinking about for weeks is about to begin.

With that excitement comes some trepidation. The possibilities for fun in Missouri are virtually endless and you aren’t sure exactly where to begin.
Why not start outdoors? Hiking, biking, ATV-riding, swimming, fishing, golfing, canoeing and camping are popular outdoor activities in the Show-Me State.

These spots offer experiences you won’t soon forget:

Hiking – The rugged Whispering Pines Trail at Hawn State Park near Ste. Genevieve is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and to give you plenty of time to appreciate the beautiful natural setting. The trail runs almost 10 miles, so be sure you’ve got all the appropriate gear and plenty of water if you plan to tackle the whole thing.

Biking – If you prefer a less strenuous adventure, grab your bike for a quick ride through Weston Bend State Park, north of Kansas City. The 3.25-mile Weston Bluffs Trail is rated as easy (but will still give you a workout) allowing ample time to visit the nearby Holladay Distillery, home to McCormick Distilling Company.

ATV riding – Several locations in Missouri offer outdoor fun on four wheels and St. Joe State Park near Park Hills is among the most popular. The park offers more than 50 miles of linear trail and is open to ATVs, motorcycles, side-by-sides (UTVs) and, in the winter, snowmobiles. Be sure to wear your helmet. More rules and regs are found here.

Swimming – Sand and sun make for a day of fun at Spalding Beach on Mark Twain Lake. The beach spans about 300 yards, meaning there’s plenty of room to roam and toss the football. If you want to warm up before you cool off, the adjacent Joanna Trail runs 32 miles and is open for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Fishing – Missouri lakes have everything from crappie and bass to muskie and walleye; the Missouri and Mississippi rivers are known for producing monster catfish. The streams of southern Missouri also are known as great fishing spots, while Lake Taneycomo, Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park and Maramec Spring Park are noted as premier trout fishing locations in the Midwest. Oh, and Lake of the Ozarks was voted the country’s best recreational lake in 2015, so …

Golfing – You boys are in luck. Missouri has some of the best courses anywhere and you’ll be wowed by the surroundings. The Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail has more than a dozen courses suited to every skill level, many offering great views of the lake itself. Plenty of highly-rated courses are found in the Branson area, too. Don’t miss Top of the Rock, a par-3 course that’s part of a “you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it” nature preserve adjacent to Big Cedar Lodge. Don’t miss the chance to have a drink in Arnie’s Barn, to take the Lost Canyon Cave Tour or explore the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.

Canoeing – The Big Piney River in Pulaski County is among Missouri’s top floating streams, joining the likes of the Current River, Huzzah Creek, Eleven Point River, Elk River and Niangua River. Rent canoes, kayaks, rafts or inner tubes for a fun day on Missouri’s waterways, while enjoying beautiful surroundings.

Camping – Campfire cooking and a night under the stars bring the perfect end to a day filled with outdoor adventure in Missouri. The AOK Campground and RV Park has camping on 23 acres about three miles north of St. Joseph (where outlaw Jesse James once lived), while Finger Lakes State Park Campground is a popular destination just north of Columbia (and you can ride ATVs there, too!).

Of course, hunting is another popular outdoor activity in the Show-Me State. You can learn more about hunting rules, regulations and seasons at the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Now that you’ve got some ideas, head back to the VisitMO.com home page to start planning your Missouri adventure.



  Hawn State Park
Set in eastern Ozark sandstone country, this park is located between Ste. Genevieve and Farmington on ...

  Hawn State Park Campground
This park offers basic and electric campsites, with some secluded walk-in sites. Services available ...

  Weston Bend State Park
Scattered picnic sites, picnic shelters and camping are features of this park. Hiking trails and a paved ...

  Weston Bend State Park Campground
This park offers basic and electric campsites. Services include modern restrooms, showers, water and ...

  Holladay Distillery
Explore more than 160 years of history and experience Real Missouri Bourbon being made at the Holladay ...

  St. Joe State Park
Off-road vehicle (ORV) riders can zoom across 2,000 acres; one of the largest ORV areas in the Midwest. ...

  St. Joe State Park Campgrounds
This park offers two nicely shaded campgrounds, one of which is an equestrian campground. Campsites ...

  The Mark Twain Lake
This 18,600-acre lake is ideal for a day on the water. Also, enjoy equestrian trails, walking trails, ...

  Lake Taneycomo - Branson
Lake Taneycomo is one of the great trout-fishing destinations in the country. The lake originally was ...

  Bennett Spring State Park
Bennett Spring is the state's third-largest spring. The park features; among other activities: trout ...

  Bennett Spring State Park Campgrounds
The park has five campgrounds offering basic, electric, and sewer/electric/water campsites that can ...

  Bennett Spring State Park Floating
Take a float trip on the Niangua River. Canoes and rafts are available for rent daily from the second ...

  Bennett Spring State Park Cabins and Lodging
Duplex cabins, individual cabins, four-plex units and motel rooms are available. The park features trout ...

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

  Montauk State Park Campground
The park features basic and electric campsites. There are showerhouses, a dump station and coin-operated ...

  Montauk Fish Hatchery
The hatchery is on the headwaters of the Current River. Facilities/features include: five fishing jetties, ...

  Montauk State Park Lodging
This park has cabins, fourplex units and motel rooms. There are coin-operated laundries. The park's ...

  Maramec Spring Park
Maramec Spring Park contains the fifth-largest spring in the state, averaging 100 million gallons of ...

  Top of the Rock Golf Course
Top of the Rock golf course is a nine-hole, par-3 course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Theree sets of tees ...

  Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum
Created to celebrate the fascinating history and stunning natural beauty of the Ozarks, the Ancient ...

  AOK Campground and RV Park
Our grounds are three miles north of St. Joseph, approximately one mile from I-29. We offer year-round ...

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

  Finger Lakes State Park Campground
This park features basic and electric campsites. There are some accessible sites. Services available ...