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State Park Guide | Missouri

Guide to Missouri State Parks

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Red Granite Rocks | Swimming & Fishing | Lake of the Ozarks| Natural Bridges | Hiking | Scenic Views | Caves | Prairies | Petroglyphs + Find Campgrounds near Missouri State Parks

Top Missouri State Parks

Elephant Rocks State Park

This State Park not only has some stunning geological features, but it is also has the first state park trail in Missouri designed for visitors with physical and visual disabilities. Elephant Rocks is named for the gigantic red granite rocks standing end-to-end, reminiscent  of a train of circus elephants. These boulders were formed over billions of years, approximately 1.5 billion years ago magma was pushed to the surface and cooled into a red granite tor. When the Ozark Plateau was formed about 250 million years ago the joints in the tor became more pronounced which started the process of weathering creating the red granite boulders that visitors can see today. Visitors can see these unique boulders along the Braille Trail, which is designed to accommodate visitors with visual and physical disabilities. The one mile trail is paved and has signs written in both braille and regular text. Visitors can explore different areas of the park from several alternate paths. One path takes visitors to an overlook to see an old quarry site. Another path leads to the top of an outcrop where visitors can explore a maze of the stunning boulders.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Located on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers visitors a wonderful Missouri experience. One of this park’s best features are the ruins of a castle built on top of a bluff. After exploring the fascinating ruins, visitors can enjoy the miles of trails throughout the park. While enjoying these features, visitors can see all sorts of interesting features, including natural bridges, caves and much more.

Katy Trail State Park

Katy Trail State Park is one of the state’s rail-to-trails project, in fact it is the longest project. Visitors to Missouri can enjoy crossing the most of the state on bicycle on the Katy Trail State Park. The trail travels from Machens to Clinton. Katy Trail State Park can be enjoyed in many ways beyond traveling by bicycle. Visitors can also hike along the trail and much more. Katy Trail is a wonderful way to enjoy seeing the nature and wilderness of much of the state.

Meramec State Park

Visitors to Meramec State Park will find all sorts of wonderful destinations for recreation. The river is a great destination for water recreation, especially canoeing. While enjoying the river, visitors can see all sorts of wildlife on the river. In addition the park offers an aquarium, which has information about the diverse wildlife in the river. Meramec State Park also has plenty of other recreational opportunities, including hiking on its trails, as well as enjoying the caves and more.

Montauk State Park

Montauk State park protects the Montauk Springs, which combined with Pigeon Creek form the Current River. Visitors to this state park can enjoy seeing the millions of gallons of water as they flow and create the river. Montauk State Park is a wonderful destination for trout fishing. In addition, visitors can also enjoy wonderful camping opportunities, as well as rental cabins and a lodge.

Onondaga Cave State Park

This park features the amazing Onondaga Cave. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave, including the stalagmites, stalactites and many more amazing features. The cave is actually classified as a National Natural Landmark. Onondaga Cave State Park also has many other activities, including the Meramec River, which provides visitors with excellent water recreation.

Prairie State Park

Visitors to Prairie State Park can see some of the native prairie in Missouri. The park protects the largest piece of prairie open to the public. Much of Missouri was once covered in prairie, so this park provides a look into the historic natural features of the state. While at this park travelers can also enjoy the native animals, including bison. Visitors can also enjoy plenty of recreation at this park, including hiking and more.

Sam A. Baker State Park

The Sam A. Baker State Park offers visitors a wonderful Missouri destination. Both the St. Francois River and Big Creek travel through the park, making it great for water recreation. Visitors can also enjoy the wooded areas, mountains and more. Throughout the park there are trails, making it great for hiking and more. The park also offers canoe rentals for visitors.

Table Rock Lake State Park

This beautiful lake is located near the town of Branson. Visitors will find a multitude of recreation activities to enjoy at this great Missouri State Park. This lake is great for boating, fishing and swimming. The onsite marina offers plenty of boat rentals for visitors to enjoy. In addition, the park has scuba diving options for visitors. Those travelers that prefer to stay on land can enjoy the parks mountain biking trail and more.

Washington State Park

Washington State Park is known as a fantastic destination for spring wildflowers. Visitors to the park can enjoy both the spring wildflower display and the excellent hiking opportunities, especially the 1,000 Steps Trail. Another wonderful feature of this park are the petroglyphs, which give visitors an clue into the history of the region. Washington State Park is also a good destination for fishing, canoeing and other types of recreation.

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