Missouri is full of natural and man-made beauty. While some of Missouri’s hidden treasures might be hiding in plain view, others are nestled deep in the country in some of the state’s most pristine forests. Here are the 10 best kept secrets that some locals may not even know about.
1. Boathenge - 11301 South Smith Hatchery Road Columbia, Missouri, 65203
Boathenge is truly off the beaten path. These former boats now stand tall in a clearing steps from the Katy Trail. This hidden art installation is only accessible by bike, boat, or foot and is just west of Copper's Landing off the Katy Trail.
2. Big Burr Oak - Burr Oak Road, Huntsdale, MO 65203
If you follow the back roads out of Columbia towards the Missouri River you can find the largest oak in Missouri. Come visit Big Burr Oak in the spring for accompanying fields of violet wildflowers. Visit soon because researchers believe the tree's health is in decline.
3. Workhouse Castle - 2001 Vine St, Kansas City, MO 64108
These castle ruins in a historic downtown Kansas City neighborhood surprisingly housed prisoners, not royalty. What is now known and Workhouse Castle,fell vacant in the 1970's and today stand as a crumbling reminder of the past. While many groups have discussed support a renovation, the structure remain abandoned.
4. Lone Elk Park - 1 Lone Elk Park Rd, Valley Park, MO 63088
Just outside the St. Louis metro area is a wild county park. Lone Elk Park is full of wild bison, elk, deer and various species of birds. Visitors can drive though the park to view these amazing animals or explore by foot in designated areas.
5. Compton Hill Water Tower - 1700 S Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63104
Many St. Louisian's have seen this water tower but few realize you can journey to the top for impressive city views. The Compton Hill Water Tower is only open for tours on the first Saturday of the month, April through October. Bonus opportunities for tours are held at night during every full moon.
6. Bothwell Lodge - 19349 Bothwell State Park Road Sedalia, MO 65301
Bothwell Lodge State Park, outside of Sedalia, is a great representation of what life was like for wealthy Missourians in the early 20th entry. This lavish hunting lodge has much of its original decor and and an unaltered view of the countryside.
7. Castlewood State Park - 1401 Kiefer Creek Road Ballwin, MO 63021
Minuets from a bustling St. Louis suburb, this state park nestled among the Meramec River has breathtaking sights. Popular among local mountain bikers and hikers, this Castlewood State Park suits the experienced and first time visitors.
8. Laumeier Sculpture Park - 12580 Rott Rd, St. Louis, MO 63127
Hidden behind office buildings this free, public park is full of amazing art. At Laumeier Sculpture Park you can climb on the structures, immerse yourself into the art and follow the trails to discover more installations.
9. Turtle Playground - Forest Park, 6401 Oakland Ave St. Louis, MO 63139
On the south side of Interstate 64/40, across from the zoo is the oftentimes overlooked, Turtle Playground in Forest Park. Filled with giant sculptures of turtles this playground is perfect for kids and adults.
10. Sandy Creek Covered Bridge - 9090 Old Lemay Ferry Road Hillsboro, MO 63050
In rural Jefferson County this picture perfect covered bridge sits unaltered by time. The Sandy Creek Covered Bridge is a state historic site that is now only open for pedestrian traffic. The beautiful setting makes it popular among local photographers.
With summer approaching, it’s the perfect time to start planning your visits to all of these amazing spots. What is your favorite hidden gem in Missouri?
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19349 Bothwell State Park Road Sedalia, MO 65301
9090 Old Lemay Ferry Road Hillsboro, MO 63050
6401 Oakland Ave St. Louis, MO 63139
11301 South Smith Hatchery Road Columbia, Missouri, 65203
12580 Rott Rd, St. Louis, MO 63127
1700 S Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63104
1401 Kiefer Creek Road Ballwin, MO 63021
1 Lone Elk Park Rd, Valley Park, MO 63088
2001 Vine St, Kansas City, MO 64108