Graham Cave State Park
A walk in Graham Cave State Park is a walk through ancient history. Artifacts uncovered in Graham Cave reveal that people occupied the cave 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. To walk through the park’s 386 scenic acres, which includes the diverse Graham Cave Glades Natural Area, is to walk in the footsteps of the hunter-gatherers who lived in the area’s caves during the ancient Dalton and Archaic period. Visitors can go into the mouth of Graham Cave, and interpretive exhibits along Graham Cave Trail detail the life researchers believe early inhabitants lived. Additional interpretive exhibits throughout the park explain the cultural and natural significance of the site. Graham Cave State Park is a prime hiking location, and the campground is perfect for get-togethers in a quiet place. A boat ramp to the Loutre River provides access for boating and fishing.
Thousand Hills State Park
All concession operations are fully open and follow social-distancing guidelines. Masks are currently required due to a county mandate. See https://www.thousandhillskirksville.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ThousandHillsKirksville/ for more information.
The cool waters of Forest Lake provide the centerpiece for Thousand Hills State Park, whose woody shores and broad savannas recall a time when northern Missouri was far less developed. The lake offers fishing, swimming and boating. The park offers hiking, mountain biking and abundant opportunities to see wildlife. An interpretive shelter helps visitors understand the petroglyphs left behind by the area’s inhabitants more than 1,500 years ago. The park also offers campsites and cabins for overnight stays.
Crowder State Park
Crowder State Park provides 1,912 acres in the rolling green hills of northern Missouri. Visitors can enjoy more than 17 miles of hiking, bicycling, backpacking and equestrian trails in a forested, rugged terrain. The park also offers fishing and boating opportunities on 18-acre Crowder Lake. The family-oriented campground includes modern restrooms and shady picnic sites are scattered throughout the park.
Knob Noster State Park
Knob Noster State Park is a tranquil retreat of open oak woodland with a few patches of prairie along both sides of the meandering Clearfork Creek. It’s a place for fishermen to wet a line, for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders to get some trail time, and for families to spend quality time together. The park also features an oxbow slough, which has been officially designated as Pin Oak Slough Natural Area.
Battle Of Athens State Historic Site
Battle of Athens State Historic Site is a place of peace and serenity. Its historic buildings, tree-studded landscape and mile of Des Moines River frontage make the site a perfect place to hike, picnic or camp. But today’s peace belies the site’s history as the place where the northernmost battle fought west of the Mississippi occurred, when about 500 Union soldiers repelled nearly four times their number of pro-Southern State Guardsmen. The site includes interpretation and tours of the battlefield as well as a number of historic buildings, including one that was pierced by a cannonball during the battle.
Long Branch State Park
Looking for a place to get a watersports fix? Long Branch State Park’s three boat ramps provide access to sprawling and picturesque Long Branch Lake. For more fun on the water, fishing is popular and the marina store, swimming beach and day-use area next to the beach are a favorite for families. A modern campground the park is a perfect place for overnight stays. The park preserves some of the last savanna and prairie remnants in the Chariton River Hills. Trails through the Chariton River Hills Natural Area provide a good way for hikers to see colorful prairie wildflowers and a variety of birds, including red-headed woodpeckers, brown thrashers and indigo buntings.
Mark Twain State Park
Nestled in the Salt River Hills of north-central Missouri, Mark Twain State Park gives visitors access to sprawling Mark Twain Lake, as well as unparalleled outdoors activities. The terrain is covered by bluffs overlooking the lake and stands of oak, hickory and maple that are filled with white-tailed deer, turkey and other wildlife. Numerous picnic areas, two four-lane boat ramps and more than 6 miles of hiking trails with lake views offer something for everyone.
First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site
Located within a stone’s throw of the Missouri River and Katy Trail State Park, and in the heart of historic St. Charles, First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site is the first seat of the state’s government. Its rough hewn timbers and dark wood floors whisper the tales of the state’s first legislature. Interpretive programs help visitors understand how the state’s government was formed and what life was like in the early 1800s.
Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
Travel back to simpler days when business in Missouri was about the rushing of a stream over a dam and bridges were covered. Visitors to Bollinger Mill State Historic Site can learn how wheat and corn were ground into flour and meal in the massive four-story mill that dates to the Civil War era. Or they can stroll through the Burfordville Covered Bridge, one of just four covered bridges that remain in Missouri. The site’s rustic setting offers ample picnicking and exploration opportunities along the Whitewater River. Both structures are in the National Register of Historic Places.
Onondaga Cave State Park
Descend into the depths of Onondaga Cave State Park and drop into a world of wonder: towering stalagmites, dripping stalactites, and active flowstones help make the cave a National Natural Landmark and illustrate why Missouri is often called “The Cave State.” Visitors can take guided tours into the underground wonderland. But if you prefer the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River. Easy access to the Meramec River allows visitors to canoe or fish in a peaceful and scenic setting.
Meramec State Park
Meramec State Park Concessions is now open for business. Face coverings are encouraged and may be required by local order. See https://www.meramecpark.com/index.php for more information.
The Meramec River flows by majestic bluffs, wooded areas and a dramatic cave entrance. More than 13 miles of hiking trails are available for exploring the park and visitors can swim, fish, raft and boat in the river. A modern campground, cabins and motel give visitors a choice to stay the night or even longer. Exhibits in the visitor center interpret the natural and cultural features of the park. No visit to the park would be complete without a tour of Fisher Cave with handheld lights.
Roaring River State Park
Roaring River State Park is unique on so many levels!
With a deep, narrow valley surrounded by a striking and rugged landscape, Roaring River State Park is one of Missouri’s most popular state parks.
Located in the southwest Ozark hills, Roaring River State Park is one of three state parks stocked with rainbow trout. Eager anglers flock to the park year-round to try and catch their lunker trout.
The scenic setting makes everything more fun. The park has seven hiking trails, picnic tables for a leisurely lunch and a nature center to learn about the park.
For those wanting to spend the night, the park has many options. The campground has basic, electric and sewer/electric/water site. Rustic cabins are scattered throughout the park, or guests may choose a modern room at the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center. The center also boasts a full-service restaurant.
Big Lake State Park – Day-use Only
Big Lake State Park is the perfect destination for a vacation or family gathering in northwest Missouri. The 407-acre state park offers everything visitors need to create a memorable vacation with a campground, camper cabins, day-use area and access to Big Lake.
The park is located adjacent to Big Lake, the largest remaining oxbow lake in Missouri. The park’s location provides easy access to the lake, which is popular for boating and fishing. The shallow lake also supports wetlands that create an ideal refuge for wetland bird species and migratory waterfowl.
The combination of activities provided by the lake and the amenities provided in the park make Big Lake State Park the perfect spot for a family vacation or an afternoon of fun.
Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park
Generations of Missourians have passed through Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park’s massive stone gateway for cookouts and family get-togethers or to spend time with friends. The park’s camping facilities, Civilian Conservation Corps architecture, and hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails help all visitors find their place to get away from it all, just minutes from St. Louis.
Pershing State Park
Wander through a slice of pre-settlement landscape at Pershing State Park. The park includes a boardwalk and hiking trail that winds through a wet prairie near a meandering stream with oxbow sloughs and cutoffs, and into a bottomland forest. The park’s wetlands attract a variety of birds and waterfowl as well as scores of other wildlife species. Locust Creek and four small lakes give anglers a chance to try their skills and a shady campground with electric and basic campsites makes the park an ideal overnight location.
Iliniwek Village State Historic Site
High above the Des Moines River’s floodplain, the grasses that sway back and forth in the wind beckon visitors to Iliniwek Village State Historic Site. The site is the only Illinois Indian village site found in Missouri and is thought to have been occupied from about 1640 through the late 1670s. Excavations at the site lead archaeologists to believe that perhaps 8,000 people lived in the village when Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette came through the area in 1673. Visitors to the site can walk a short trail to learn more about the village’s inhabitants and the effect settlement had on them.
Deutschheim State Historic Site
Visitors can discover a part of German-American heritage and experience an early Missouri settlement, all in one place—Deutschheim State Historic Site. This site is located in Hermann, a town known throughout the Midwest for its German heritage. Deutschheim State Historic Site preserves two structures that reflect the 1840s and 1850s when Germans first settled the Missouri River valley that reminded them of home.
The site includes the Pommer-Gentner house, which was built in 1840 and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Hermann. It also preserves the Carl Strehly house, which was built in 1842. Through guided tours of both historic houses, visitors can experience the daily life and traditions of German immigrants to Missouri in the mid-19th century.
Missouri State Parks has implemented a number of measures designed to maintain required social distancing and protect visitors, volunteers and staff. We ask our visitors to view our Park Hours to confirm operating hours. A full list of temporary closures can be found at https://mostateparks.com/temporary-closures. The latest information from Missouri State Parks on COVID-19 can be found at https://mostateparks.com/response.