Trip Ideas: 10 Missouri State Parks to Visit This Fall
Missouri has many times been recognized for its wonderful state parks system. With 87 official Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites , which comes to around 200,000 acres of beautiful public space, visitors are able to find a place to hike, camp and picnic in every corner of the state. Of course, 87 is a lot to choose from, so we narrowed it down to 10 that would make for a perfect adventure this fall. Enjoy the outdoors.
Northwest
The 625-acre Oxbow Lake is perfect for fishing. The park offers camping, a swimming pool, a reservable shelter and a boat ramp. Campsites 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.
204 Lake Shore Drive, Craig MO 64437, 660-442-3770
Hours:
Scattered picnic sites, picnic shelters and camping are features of this park. Hiking trails and a paved hiking and bicycling trail traverse the wooded park. A handicapped accessible scenic overlook offers the most expansive views of the Missouri River in the state. Because the park is located along the forested river corridor, it offers excellent bird watching, especially during spring and fall migrations. There are secluded picnic areas; a playground; an open shelter; and a campground with modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities.
16600 North Route 45, Weston MO 64098, 816-640-5443
Hours: April 15-Oct. 31, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Nov.-April 14, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Northeast
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.
1401 Kiefer Creek Road, Ballwin MO 63021, 636-227-4433
Hours: 7 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset.
Radiocarbon dating indicates the park's shelter cave was inhabited more than 10,000 years ago. The park, two miles west of Danville along the Loutre River, features camping, hiking and mountain-biking trails, fishing, a boat ramp and picnicking.
217 Route TT, Montgomery City MO 63361, 573-564-3476
Hours: Grounds: 7 a.m -sunset; Visitor Contact Station: April-October, Daily, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.; November-March, closed weekends.
Southeast
Scenic lakeside coves offer irresistible fishing and picnicking spots at this park, bordering Wappapello Lake. Campgrounds, cabins, camper cabins, nature programs, hiking, backpacking, equestrian and mountain biking trails, boat ramps and a beach highlight the park. The park is 16 miles north of Poplar Bluff.
Route 172, Williamsville MO 63967, 573-297-3232
Hours: Office: Memorial Day-Labor Day, Mon.-Thur., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Labor Day-Oct. 31 and April 1-Memorial Day, Sun.-Thur., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Closed November-March
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.
Route 21, Belleview MO 63623, 573-546-3454
Hours: Park hours: April-October: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; November-March: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
This park is home to a spectacular show cave, which is a National Natural Landmark. Tours are offered March through October. The park features Meramec River access; camping; scenic hiking trails; a lake; picnic sites; and a shelter. The park is located seven miles southeast of I-44 on Route H.
7556 Route H, Leasburg MO 65535, 573-245-6576
Hours: Visitor Center: April-October, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; March, Fri.-Sun., daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; November, Wed.-Sun., daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Day-use areas: Sunrise to sunset year-round
At an elevation of 1,772 feet, this is the highest point in Missouri. The state's highest wet-weather waterfall, Mina Sauk Falls, is a highlight of this scenic rugged park. Primitive camping, hiking and backpacking trails, an accessible overlook and picnicking are offered. The park is located off Route 21, nine miles southwest of Ironton on Route CC.
Route CC, Ironton MO 63656, 573-546-2450
Hours: Sunrise-sunset
Southwest
Hike amid tall prairie grasses, colorful flowers and animals, including American bison and elk, at Missouri's largest remaining tallgrass prairie. Sleep under the vast prairie sky at primitive campsites. Exhibits in the visitor center interpret the landscape. The park is located 16 miles west of Lamar.
128 N.W. 150th Lane, Mindenmines MO 64769, 417-843-6711
Hours: Park: daily, sunrise-sunset. ~ Visitor Center: April-Oct., Wed.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Nov.-March, Thu.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Central
The remains of a huge, circa 1905 European-style stone castle add an air of mystery to this park. Situated atop towering bluffs, the views of the Lake of the Ozarks are majestic. More than 15 miles of winding trails take you past caves, a spring, sink-holes, a natural bridge and down to the lake. This park features camping, picnicking, hiking and an ADA accessible shelter. Island Cave is an "entry by permit only" cave. Call the park's office to request a permit to enter. River Cave is a "supervised entry only" cave. Scheduled tours are given monthly, December through February; subject to the migration of federally-protected gray bats. Call the office for details and schedules. Overlooking the River Cave's entrance, a deck with informational panels is open to all.
1491 Route D, Camdenton MO 65020, 573-346-2986
Hours: Grounds and Visitor Center: April-Oct.: daily, 7 a.m.-sunset ~ Nov.-March: 8 a.m.-sunset.