State Parks Stories

Missouri State Parks invites you to explore the world of nature our state has to offer. Read our stories and find a state park that's close to you.

Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles Challenge

Gov. Jay Nixon added another mile to his total during a hike at Thousand Hills State Park, and gained some new recruits for his 100 Missouri Miles Challenge.

State Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville, was among the participants on the hike Thursday on the park’s 1.25-mile Red Bud Trail, and said he had signed up for the Challenge.

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Gov. Jay Nixon logged miles hiking on Red Bud Trail at Thousand Hills State Park and encouraged Missourians to join him in completing the challenge.

Lake Wappapello State Park in Tip-Top Shape for Summer

Visitors to Lake Wappapello State Park this summer will find the familiar quiet coves for crappie fishing amid many park facilities that are brand new.

“The park looks better than ever,” said Wanda Doolen, natural resource manager of the park in southeast Missouri. “There were a lot of silver linings to what happened.”

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Visitors to Lake Wappapello State Park this summer will find familiar quiet coves for crappie fishing amid many park facilities that are brand new.

The Natural Bridges and Tunnels of Missouri

Missouri is known as the Cave State, but it also has its share of another geologic wonder – natural bridges and tunnels.

The massive formations are featured at four state parks – Bennett Spring, Grand Gulf, Ha Ha Tonka and, of course, Rock Bridge Memorial.

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Missouri is known as the Cave State, but it also has its share of another geologic wonder – natural bridges and tunnels

175 Years Later, Hermann Is Still the Heart of Missouri’s German-America

HERMANN, Mo. – In the spring of 1838, steamboats carried German immigrants up the Missouri River to a hilly site that would become the city of Hermann as part of a massive migration that changed the face of Missouri forever.

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175 Years Later, Hermann Is Still the Heart of Missouri’s German-America

New Water Trail Dedicated at Finger Lakes State Park

Finger Lakes State Park is marking National Trails Day on June 7 by dedicating a new trail. If you want to explore it, bring your water shoes instead of hiking boots.

North of Columbia off U.S. 63, Finger Lakes State Park gets its name from the slender lakes formed when pits left by a prior coal-mining operation were dammed and filled with clear water. Peabody Lake is the largest and now has a 4.5-mile water trail that lets paddlers explore the narrow waterways.

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If you want to explore it one of our newest trails, bring your water shoes instead of hiking boots.

Hermann Celebrates German Composer

Bach, Brahms and Wagner are three of the big names of the Golden Age of Classical Music, but another prominent German-American composer had roots in Hermann.

His name was William H. Pommer and he was the grandson of German immigrants who arrived in the Missouri River Valley in the early 1800s. He was the youngest son of Fredric Pommer, one of the six children who moved with their widowed mother, Caroline, to Herman in 1839.

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Deutschheim State Historic Site celebrates work of German-American composer with roots in Hermann.

Women’s History in State Parks

Marilyn King loved mastodons. Katharine Ordway loved prairies. Luella Agnes Owen loved caves. And Rita Piacenza loved Thomas Hart Benton.

Women played major roles in the creation of many of Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, so it’s fitting to honor their impact in March, during Women’s History Month. Here are a half dozen of the women, and the stories of their important contributions:

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Women played major roles in the creation of many state parks and historic sites, so it’s fitting to honor their impact in March, during Women’s Histor

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