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.

How a state park becomes one

[caption id="attachment_181" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Don Robinson, 82, watches visitors hike into Labarque Creek on land he'll donate to Missouri State Parks."][/caption] Missouri State Parks

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At 82, Don Robinson has finally slowed down. So he declined to join the hike down the steep, wooded hillside to explore what he called 'Green Gulch.'

Katy's 20!

MCKITTRICK ­– Picking a favorite section of the Katy Trail presents a pleasant problem.  With 225 miles of hiking and biking trail to choose from, where does someone start?

Here’s a vote for the 16.1 miles between McKittrick and Treloar, where much of the trail squeezes between the base of white limestone bluffs and the muddy Missouri River. In spring, Canada geese nesting on the rocky ledges crane their long necks to watch the riders below.

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Picking a favorite section of the Katy Trail presents a pleasant problem.

10 tips for riding the Katy

  1. Choose the right length. Twenty to 30 miles is a good day ride for a weekend cyclist. Forty to 50 is for regular riders. Anything over that is for hardcore bikers.
  2. The packed gravel of the Katy is fine for all bikes. A mountain bike is great, and the “hybrids” in which riders sit more upright on cushy seats are comfortable.
  3. A helmet is recommended whenever riding a bicycle. However, it is not required on the Katy.

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10 things to know about riding the Katy Trail

Katy pioneer remembers how trail was born

WILLIAMSBURG – The Katy Trail is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but Pat Jones says the spark that inspired the recreational trail went back much further.

Pat and her late husband, Ted Jones, were early backers of the trail, donating $2.2 million to purchase the right-of-way from the railroad and to get the trail started. The first 5-mile section opened in April 1990, a few months before the death of Ted Jones, a brokerage executive.

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Pat and her late husband, Ted Jones, were early backers of the trail, donating $2.2 million to purchase the right-of-way from the railroad and to get

5 years later: Johnson's Shut-Ins

MIDDLEBROOK – A billion years of erosion sculpted the beauty that made Johnson’s Shut-Ins a popular state park. A manmade catastrophe altered the landscape in a matter of minutes.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Reservoir, perched on the top of Profitt Mountain overlooking the park, breached, releasing 1.3 billion gallons of water that swept through the valley.

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A billion years of erosion sculpted the beauty that made Johnson’s Shut-Ins a popular state park. A manmade catastrophe altered the landscape in a mat

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