Since opening three Terrapin Care Stations in Missouri, we’ve been loving exploring our new state’s environment. As Colorado natives, we can’t pass up a good hike anywhere, especially in the “Show Me State’s” many national parks. With over 200,000 acres to hike in, we picked our top five favorite spots:
- Gateway Arch National Park – This park features one of Missouri’s most iconic structures: The Gateway Arch, also known as the “Gateway to the West.” Visitors can view Missouri’s tallest structure among other historical monuments. This 90-acre park boasts beautiful water features, trees and scenic views of the city. In the park, you can also hop on a riverboat cruise or tram ride.
- Weston Bend State Park – Pack a picnic and head to one of Weston Bend’s numerous picnic sites. Located along a forested river corridor, this park has ideal bird-watching spots and expansive views of the Missouri River. With free admission and pet-friendly facilities, this park is perfect for families.
- Elephants Rock State Park – No, they’re not wild elephants roaming this park, but there are ancient boulders standing end-to-end that look like a train of elephants! Weave between these boulders and spot writings carved in the red stone by 19th century miners. You’ll also see remnants of the old mining operation among geological wonders. This park is free admission and open year-round!
- Ha Ha Tonka State Park – Who would have thought you could see a 1905 European-style stone castle in Missouri? The Ha Ha Tonka Park exudes an air of mystery that you can contemplate while lounging on a bluff overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. While roaming the 15+ miles of trails, you’ll also see caves, a spring, sinkholes and natural bridge.
- Rock Bridge Memorial State Park – With over 2,200 acres, it’s hard to spend less than a full day at this park. Here, you can explore geological wonders including Conor’s Cave and Devil’s Icebox Cave. Take a stroll over the natural bridge to find sinkholes and springs. This park is biker, equestrian and pet-friendly! For the price of free admission, you can enjoy a private picnic immersed in nature.