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

Hiking the Ozark Trail

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California has the PCT. Missouri has the OT.

The Pacific Crest Trail, which spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington, was featured in the movie “Wild,” which earned actress Reese Witherspoon an Oscar nomination.

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Missouri’s 390-mile Ozark Trail includes a forested route through the Ozarks that is scenic and secluded.

Start the Year Right with a Winter Hike

With eight primitive campsites and plenty to explore in between, the aptly named Wilderness Trail in Meramec State Park is one of the best backpacking hikes in the state park system.

I headed out on the trail early one weekday in late fall when the last autumn colors were still hanging around. The hike ended six hours later after a long day full of caves, springs, sinkholes, woodlands, glades and river bluffs. Saw nary a soul along the way.

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Start 2015 off right with a winter hike in Missouri State Parks.

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