Missouri State Parks are beautiful. There are the Ozark Mountains, history and grassy prairie lands. My family has been through Missouri several times. We always enjoy the state and plan to be traveling through it again in summer 2009.
Interstate 70 goes across Missouri from St. Louis to Kansas City. It is one of the most popular routes in the state. Along the way, there is an abundance of Missouri State Parks. There are no entrance fees but activities such as camping or tours may have a small fee. Adding a stop to your existing vacation is an easy affordable way to break up a long car trip. With camping options, a stop at a state park is also a good vacation destination.
Pets are allowed on most hiking trails. Except for service animals they are not allowed in any of the historic sites. Leash length is 10′ maximum.
The following is an overview of parks that are near or accessible from I-70. For more Missouri State Parks please visit the resources section of this article or click here.
Scott Joplin State Historic Site
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone Toll Free 800-334-6946
When visiting St. Louis stop at this historical Missouri State Park and enjoy seeing former home of the King of Ragtime, Scott Joplin. The building commemorates the life work of the composer and St. Louis. An antique player piano fills the air with rag time music. Furnishings are appropriate for 1902.
Tours are available Monday – Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The final tour begins daily at 3:00 pm. Fees are $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for children age 6-12 no charge for children age 5 and under.
First Missouri State Capitol
200-216 S. Main St.
St. Charles, MO 63301
During the years of 1821, to 1826 this building served as the First Missouri State Capitol. The rooms have been fully restored and visitors may take a guided tour for a small fee. Visitors can visit the self-guided interpretive center for free. It offers 2 floors of historical exhibits and an orientation film.
Graham Cave State Park
217 Hwy. TT
Montgomery City, MO 63361
Visitors to this Missouri State Park will see a cave that humans used 10,000 years ago. Visitors are welcome at the cave entrance and will see interpretive exhibits. Also at the park are miles of hiking trails, picnicking and a playground. The campground offers basic sites and sites with electricity.
Jewell Cemetery State Historic Site
This Missouri State Park is the final resting place of Missouri’s 22nd governor Charles Hardin. The cemetery also contains the graves of the Jewell family descendants. There are no services offered at this historic location.
Confederate Memorial State Historic Site
211 West First Street
Higginsville, MO 64037
The Confederate Solidier’s Home served its last guest in 1950 when soldier John T. Graves died at the age of 108. This home served 1,600 Confederate soldiers and family for 60-plus years. Visitors can enjoy the 106-year-old chapel and historic cemetery as they walk through the park. There are picnic spots and fishing available.
Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site
Kansas City, MO 64111
The Victorian home and studio of artist Thomas Hart Benton has been a Missouri State Park since 1977. Visitors can see his home that has been largely kept as he left it. Some of his painting and sculptures remain in the house. During the course of his life, Thomas Hart Benton was a celebrated artist. According to Wikipedia he featured in Time Magazine, displayed in universities and in the House Lounge of the Missouri State Capitol Building and was known to be the originator of the Regionalism style of art.
These activities and other fun adventures are waiting for you at any of the Missouri State Parks.
Missouri State Parks
River Valley Region Association