Missouri’s 6 Top Outdoor Attractions

The following is a part of a four-part collection highlighting all that Missouri has to offer within the worlds of meals, artwork, music and journey. Missouri – or “Mo,” as we discuss with her – has no scarcity of locations to discover, so no matter you’re after, there’s a Mo for each M-O.

Missouri is stuffed with outside wonders, with 88 state parks, six nationwide parks, and plenty of different excursions off the crushed path. Ranked among the many high park techniques within the nation, Missouri gives a breadth of adventures, from scenic vistas to picturesque hikes, and there are numerous alternative ways to expertise all that the “Show-Me” State has to supply.

Here’s a take a look at a few of the highlights of Missouri’s wildlife, parks and extra the place you expertise the nice outdoor and take full benefit of the state’s wide-ranging panorama.

Missouri Division of Tourism, Photo by: Aaron Fuhrman

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – Lampe, MO

Is 10,000 sq. miles of nature sufficient for you? Well, that’s what you’ll get at a go to to this sprawling Ozark Mountains oasis, the place you’ll discover actions and excursions for everybody in your crew. Dogwood Canyon is among the oldest landforms within the United States, and with settlers’ log cabins in view, you’ll be able to discover the habitat with actions like horseback driving, fishing, mountain climbing, wildlife excursions and extra. You can even go to the conservation middle or the on-site restaurant, and there’s even a custom-built treehouse courtesy of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. The park is open every single day, and tickets begin at $15 for youths, although there’s an extra cost for some actions, resembling horseback driving and the wildlife tram tour. If you’ll be able to’t match all of the enjoyable into simply at some point, think about a park membership so you’ll be able to hold coming again for extra.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Photo by Ben Nickelson

Prairie State Park – Mindenmines, MO

One of the state’s beloved state parks, this vacation spot gives the most effective retailers to turn into one with nature, from tenting to bird-watching. Catalog a few of the native wildflowers or take a stroll alongside one of many park’s many trails. The park is known as for the tallgrass prairie which used to cover a 3rd of the state and now makes up lower than one p.c, however don’t fear. Some of these swaying fields are nonetheless preserved right here at this time so you’ll be able to expertise the land’s pure magnificence because it as soon as was.

You can take a look at the park’s occasion calendar, the place you’ll discover thrilling upcoming happenings like scavenger hunts, guided hikes and a lecture collection. As you bounce from one exercise to the following, make sure you look out for the resident bison herd that roams this 4,000-acre paradise.

North woods in the summertime

Melinda Evans

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge – Mound City, MO

If quarantine has obtained you taking part in a whole lot of Animal Crossing and also you’re on the lookout for encounters of the furry, feathered and fishy varieties, this wildlife protect is your finest guess. Loess Bluffs was in-built 1935 by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a refuge for migratory birds, and it’s nonetheless one of many high areas for bird-watching within the U.S. Fishing, pictures and extra are all on the agenda right here. You can even go mountain climbing and discover the native wildlife, together with Indian grass, huge bluestem, beard-tongue and skeleton plant, amongst a bunch of others. (I, for one, am notably intrigued by the final two.)


Ha Ha Tonka State Park – Camdenton, MO

Natural wonders abound on this storied state park, which options every little thing from mountain climbing trails to an deserted stone fort. Named for mentioned fort, a Twentieth-century stone mansion, Ha Ha Tonka State Park additionally boasts caves, sinkholes, geological formations and beautiful bluffs overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. Even when you’re not a talented outdoor individual, there are boardwalks that make the paths accessible to all guests, together with handy picnic areas for lunch or a fast snack earlier than a nature stroll.

Missouri Division of Tourism, Photo by: Aaron Fuhrman

Chaumette Vineyards & Winery – Ste. Genevieve, MO

Who wants Europe when you’ll be able to simply pop over to Missouri to take pleasure in a best-in-class luxurious wine-tasting trip? This resort vacation spot gives native wines grown within the area’s rolling hills in a tasting room that’s open year-round. And in the summertime months, you’ll usually encounter outside leisure and music to make your go to all of the extra memorable.

When you’re not sampling the newest varietals, you’ll be able to strive some surrounding hikes. Book a villa and dine on the Grapevine Grill to make a weekend of your expertise. The better part? You received’t need to drive house after a day of sampling all that Chaumette Winery has to supply.


Missouri Division of Tourism, Photo by: Aaron Fuhrman

Elephant Rocks State Park – Belleview, MO

Rocks that appear to be elephants? Yes, please. These pure geological formations appear to be they stepped proper out of the circus, when actually they had been shaped from 1.5-billion-year-old granite. Whether you’re a geology buff or simply have children that love climbing boulders, Elephant Rocks State Park is a surprise that have to be seen. Take the Braille Trail, designed to accommodate guests with visible and bodily disabilities, after which spend a while earlier than or after establishing for a picnic to actually make a day of it. You received’t discover one other place like Elephant Rocks State Park, so these rocky wonders are a can’t-miss merchandise in your Missouri bucket listing.

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