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Battle of Athens State Historic Site

Park Information

Battle of Athens 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 most northern 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.

Park Hours

Historic Site Grounds:

  • April through October
    Sunrise to 10 p.m.
  • November through March
    Sunrise to sunset

Thome-Benning House (Cannonball House) hours


  • April through October
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
  • November through March
    Available by prior arrangement only

Park Office hours

  • April through October
    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily
  • November through March
    Office not regularly staffed; telephone is monitored for messages Monday through Friday
Name that Trail: This trail is designed especially for people with visual or physical disabilities and is designated as a National Recreation Trail. The trail passes by a quarry pond, which now supports a variety of animal life. A short spur off of the trail takes hikers to the top of the granite outcrop, where they can explore the maze of giant elephant rocks. A second spur brings you to a point overlooking an old quarry site, where Missouri red granite was quarried from the 1860s through the early 1900s. Don’t know the answer? Get your copy of Trails of Missouri State Parks and read more about this and other exciting trails in Missouri state parks and historic sites at