2020 meant a serious readjustment of all of our travel plans. I had set on visiting Peru and Europe that year, but instead I stayed close to home. Through road tripping Missouri, I discovered some lovely state and national parks I wouldn’t have trekked to otherwise.
I was born in Missouri and yet my list of popular state site visits was shamefully low. As I started traipsing through various state and national parks, I decided to see just how many my home state had to offer and visit them all.
Visiting Every State and National Park in Missouri
How Many National Parks Does Missouri Have?
Based on this website, Missouri has seven national parks. So far, I’ve explored four; Gateway Arch, George Washington Carver National Monument, Ozark Scenic Riverways and Ste. Genevieve Historic Site.
What remains are the homes of two former U.S. Presidents, Harry S Truman and Ulysses S. Grant, and Wilson Creek National Battlefield.
I was feeling prett good after reading this. I only had three national parks to visit, so surely my list of state parks in Missouri would go just as well.
How Many State Parks Does Missouri Have?
Missouri has 92 state and historic sites, according to Wikipedia. So… I was way off.
For simplicity’s sake, I’m sticking to the 58 state parks the state has. My number here is a lowly seven that I’ve visited. I’m sure there are several I hit up when I was a kid, but I’m not going to count vague memories here. Criteria for this is ideally within the last ten years. And in the last decade, it appears I’ve only seen seven of Missouri’s state parks.
The 19 Largest Springs in Missouri
This bonus category was created during a recent visit to Roaring River State Park. Roaring River has Roaring Spring, which is tied for the 19th spot on Missouri’s list of largest springs.
My total exploration count for the 20 (remember two springs are tied for 19) largest springs in Missouri sits at eight currently. This is oddly the category I’m most excited to complete. Most of my favorite adventures in the state involve a trip to a spring. So it only makes sense that the best is yet to come.
What's My Timeline?
Great question! I don’t really have one. If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that travel plans can change at a moment’s notice. So I’m in no rush to check these places off of my list.
I’ve also found that I can appreciate a place more when I’m not trying to speed through it. Taking in the pretty scenery of Missouri will take time. I’m willing to take as long as it takes.
Plus, with road trips looking like the best and safest form of travel for the time being, I’ll have quite a few opportunities to do a bit of exploring. I’m excited to start planning some routes and seeing what I can find.
What About Your State?
If you’re itching to do some traveling, see what your own state has to offer. I’d love to hear where you’re inspired to visit in the comments below!
Pin visiting every state and national park in Missouri