JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 12, 2023 – At Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, you can always find something to do, whether it’s hiking, boating, relaxing or even taking in an interpretive program. Following is a list of activities planned for locations across southwest Missouri.
Friday, Sept. 15: Ecotherapy Stroll: Gratitude/Nature Journaling at Bennett Spring State Park
Honor your connection with the natural world by participating in ecotherapy. Researchers recommended five hours a month in nature to relax and reduce stress. This month, participants can celebrate Missouri Archaeology Month by viewing rocks and minerals in the nature center, then head outside for some therapeutic fresh air and beautiful scenery on a 2-mile hike on Whistle Trail. Participants will travel along the spring to the Niangua River and back to the trail access point. A portion of the trail traverses bluff tops and some climbing will be necessary. Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes, use insect repellent and bring water and a snack. The program begins at 11 a.m. in the park’s nature center, located at 26250 Highway 64A in Lebanon.
- Saturday, Sept. 16: Bluegrass Night in the Park - Flyin’ Buzzards at Stockton State Park
If you’re looking for a toe-tapping good time, head over to Stockton State Park for some traditional bluegrass music. The concert will be in the park’s East Campground near the playground. Parking will be available near the duplexes for anyone not coming from their campsite. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. The concert is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Stockton State Park is located at 19100 S. Highway 215 in Dadeville.
- Saturday, Sept. 16: Adventure Challenge Race at Finger Lakes State Park
Are you up for a challenge? If so, here is what you’ll face. First, you’ll canoe or kayak the 5K water trail that winds along the water-filled reclaimed strip mines of Peabody Lake. Then, return back to the start and take off on foot for a 5K run on Kelley Branch Mountain Bike Trail. The trail will lead you through the wetlands of Kelley Branch Creek, along the ridges and pits of more reclaimed strip mines and then back to the finish line. Challenge yourself to compete in both sections of the event or take part in just one. Chip timing will be collected for those who complete both sections of the race. All participants receive a medal. Grand prizes will be awarded to the top male and top female contestant who completes both sections. Register online in advance for $35 or on the day of the race for $40. Registration is required. Check-in and packet pickup will be available at 8:30 a.m.; the race starts at 9 a.m. with boats in the water. To register, visit runsignup.com/Race/MO/Columbia/FINGERLAKESADVENTURECHALLENGE. Finger Lakes State Park is located at 1505 E. Peabody Road in Columbia.
- Tuesday, Sept. 19: Children’s Craft Festival - Step Back in Time at Arrow Rock State Historic Site
In this free program intended for elementary and middle school students, children will participate in an assortment of traditional activities: 1800s way-of-life demonstrations, heritage crafts, hands-on activities, reenactments, storytelling and games. Educational standards will be used. The village’s shops and historic buildings will be open during the event. Registration is required and can be completed by calling 660-837-3330. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Arrow Rock State Historic Site is located at 39521 Visitor Center Drive in Arrow Rock.
- Wednesday, Sept. 20: Community Fly Tying Demonstration at Bennett Spring State Park
Join park volunteers Danny Goldsmith and Donald Ohler at 9 a.m. at the Bennett Spring Church of God annex building for a community fly tying demonstration. This program will provide instruction on tying a basic fishing fly and will give participants an opportunity to visit, share stories and see the art of fly tying. The demonstration is presented by the Friends of Bennett Spring State Park and is open to all ages. The church annex building is located directly across for the park office, behind the park restaurant at 26332 Highway 64A outside of Lebanon.
For detailed information on any of these activities, please visit mostateparks.com/events. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.