Missouri is home to many national parks and historical sites. They’re all great places to visit and explore.
The state’s natural landscape is stunning and diverse. It’s perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and picnicking.
One of the most popular national parks in the state is Gateway Arch National Park. It commemorates several important events in American history, including the Louisiana Purchase and the debate over slavery in the Dred Scott case.
The Ozark Plateau is a physiographic region covering parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. It is a highly reminiscent of portions of the Appalachians, but with a distinct character all its own.
Unlike the Appalachians, which formed from an accumulation of rock, the Ozarks were created by erosion. Over millions of years, different layers of mostly flat rock were uplifted and eroded.
The result is the distinctive escarpments, knobs and crags that define the Ozark Mountains. This is also the reason for the name “Ozarks.”
The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (also known as the Delta) is a unique natural region. It stretches across Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.
This flat landscape offers many opportunities for hiking, boating and fishing. Visitors can also explore archaeological sites, prehistoric mountains and picturesque lookouts.
These wetlands are important for many species of birds and wildlife. They also provide water quality protection, carbon sequestration and economic benefits.
The Mississippi River is the fourth-longest river in the world, draining an area of more than 1,245,000 square miles. It flows through 31 states and 2 provinces between the Rockies and the Appalachians, and it is an important transportation waterway that connects the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Upper Mississippi is a series of human-made lakes convenient for transportation, hydroelectric power, and recreation. It is controlled by locks, dams, channels, and wing dikes to moderate its flow in order to maintain a navigable navigation channel.
It also changes the fish fauna and distribution of the river, as silt decreases in the areas where dams are built, and the deep pools become less conducive to thriving fishes adapted to turbid plains waters. The result is that the river’s fish population is much smaller than it used to be, even before the engineering of the Missouri began.
The Gateway Arch is a stunning national monument that honors the diverse people who shaped America. It was built to celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and the westward expansion of the country, as well as the explorers Lewis and Clark and their Shoshone guide Sacagawea.
The arch’s observation deck offers panoramic views that extend 30 miles in every direction. It’s also possible to ride a motorized tram to the top of the arch for some amazing views.
The museum underneath the arch is also worth visiting, and it has been refurbished and reopened in 2018. There’s also a 35-minute movie that documents the construction of the arch.
The George Washington Carver National Monument, located in Diamond, Missouri, is a great place to visit for a day of recreation, education and inspiration. Established in 1943, this is the first national park dedicated to an African American and gives visitors a chance to learn about the life of the famous scientist and educator.
The main building is full of interactive exhibits that will keep kids busy for hours on end. There’s a museum, theater, discovery center, classrooms for educational programs and an observation deck.
The first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River took place at Wilson’s Creek. This national park preserves the site of the battle and helps visitors understand its significance.
The National Park Service manages the park and provides interpretive programs. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, plus historic structures such as the Ray House, which was once a field hospital for the Confederate army.
Located about 10 miles outside of Springfield, Missouri, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is open year-round. It has a visitor center and a 4.9-mile driving tour, as well as five walking trails and seven miles of horseback riding trails.