Make sure to view the nearly 9,000 square feet of exhibit space and the extensive collection of artifacts inside the visitor center, which opened in 1991. You can watch a 20-minute video, "Arrow Rock: Frontier Town of the Boone's Lick." This video provides an introduction and general overview of the history of Arrow Rock and the Boone's Lick Country. Copies are available for sale. You can also purchase postcards, history books, and state park-related souvenirs and clothing items at the visitor center gift shop.
The visitor center is a block-and-a-half south of Main Street, nestled in a wooded hollow so as not to dominate the historic landscape of the town. The parking lot entry road is located on Highway 41, one-quarter mile south of Arrow Rock. Site offices are located in the visitor center.
Arrow Rock State Historic Site is located in the heart of central Missouri's "Boone's Lick Country" and preserves and interprets this unique chapter of our American heritage. Exhibits are chronologically arranged to present the following themes:
- Native American Presence -- focusing on the Osage and Missouria tribes from prehistory to 1790.
- France and Spain in the Missouri Valley -- diplomacy, conflict and trade with Native Americans 1673 to 1802.
- Waterway West -- the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1803 to 1806.
- Pioneer Industry, Making Salt at Boone's Lick -- focusing on the saltworks started in 1805 by Nathan and Daniel M. Boone, sons of the famed pioneer Daniel Boone.
- War of 1812, Settlement and Conflict in the Boone's Lick -- the clash between white settlers and the Sac, Fox and Ioway tribes from 1808 to 1815.
- Settling the Boone's Lick, Town Building on the Missouri Frontier -- speculation, town founding and the massive migration from the upper South to the area between 1815 and 1830.
- Boone's Lick Agriculture -- agricultural techniques and innovations and the use of slave labor on hemp and tobacco plantations, circa 1816 to 1861.
- Manufacturing, Handicraft Industries and Agricultural Processors -- the growth of the Boone's Lick as Missouri's second leading manufacturing center circa 1830 to 1861.
- Rivers and Roads, Moving Passengers and Produce in the Boone's Lick -- Missouri River commerce from canoes and flatboats to steamboats and forms of overland transportation.
- Westward the Star of Empire, the Boone's Lick and the Santa Fe Trade -- the beginning of trade with Mexico through the war with Mexico, 1821 to 1848.
- Life in the Boone's Lick -- from 1821 to 1826 focusing on domestic life and civil progress and the medical innovations of Dr. John Sappington, from 1821 to 1861.
- George Caleb Bingham -- the life and artwork of Missouri's most famous artist and Arrow Rock's most famous resident. Several original portraits and prints are featured.
- Troubled Times, the Civil War -- economic disruption and guerilla raids, 1861 to 1865.
- End of an Era, the Boone's Lick in Decline -- the loss of population and prestige due to war and technological changes from 1865 to 1900.
- Slavery, Racism, Violence: Justice and the Constitution -- the African American experience in the Boone's Lick from Emancipation (1865) to the beginning of the Civil Rights Era (1955).
- Arrow Rock, Preserving a Monument to the Golden Age of the Boone's Lick -- covers early efforts to preserve and interpret the town beginning in 1912 and through to the present.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday-Sunday and holiday Mondays
Historic Site Office
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily, year-round
On the following days (actual or observed), staff will not be available and park buildings will be closed: Thanksgiving Day; Nov. 24, 2023; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; New Year’s Eve; New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Lincoln’s Birthday; and Presidents Day.
Please note there will also be times when the office is temporarily closed while staff are working in the grounds.