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Park Trails

at Van Meter State Park

Earthworks Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.75 Miles View map

Earthworks Trail leads to American Indian sites known as the Old Fort (Earthworks) and the Mound Field. The Old Fort, an irregular, double-ditched earthwork, was built by the ancestral Missouria Indians (Oneota). The Mound Field is made up of three burial mounds that belonged to the Woodland Indians. This trail winds through the Pinnacles and the wooded part of the Oumessourit Natural Area. The trail route was used by archaeologists before the 19th century to inspect the hand-dug ditches. The current trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.75 Miles 1 hour, 45 minutes Loop Green 1) At the shelter house 1 parking area on VM Picnic Drive; 2) At the Mound Field parking area at the top of the hill on VM Pinnacle Drive

Loess Hills Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 2 Miles View map

Loess Hills Trail circles Lake Wooldridge, an 18-acre fishing lake. The trail passes through prairielike areas and across bridges that span ravines of loess soil on the Pinnacles. White connector 1 follows along the west shore of the lake from the dam embankment past the fishing platform.

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
2 Miles 2 hours Loop Red At the Lake Wooldridge parking area at the end of VM Pinnacle Drive

Memorial Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .40 Mile View map

The Vanmeter (historical spelling) family cemetery sits on top a hill beside ancient American Indian burial mounds. At the base of the hill is a memorial garden dedicated to the American Indian tribes of Missouri. From Memorial Trail, hikers can view native plantings, flowers and limestone pillars denoting the four directions. The trail was originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and the Memorial Garden was developed in 2006.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.40 Mile 25 minutes Loop Yellow Both trailheads are located off VM Picnic Road. 1) At the Memorial Garden entrance on the east side of the entrance road (Highway 122); 2) On VM Pinnacle Road near the gate at the base of the hill going to Lake Wooldridge.

Missouri River Overlook Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .10 Mile View map

Missouri River Overlook Trail follows the ridge of a pinnacle and ends with a vista of the Missouri River bottoms, the river’s wooded edge, crop fields and oxbow lakes. The trail was constructed during the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-06 on the Missouri River. It features two interpretive panels describing the area during the 1800s with diary quotes and maps from the expedition.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.10 Mile 5 minutes, one way Linear Blue At the Lake Wooldridge parking area at the end of VM Pinnacle Drive

Oumessourit Wetland Bluff Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .40 Mile View map

Oumessourit Wetland Bluff Trail allows visitors to experience the wetland and bottomland wooded areas of the Oumessourit Natural Area. The wetland is a natural remnant of the dynamic Missouri River floodplain. The trail features interpretive panels describing features along the way. Elevated metal walkway spurs allow views into the marsh. Oumessourit (pronounced “Oo-mah-soo-ree) was the name given to the Missouria Indians by the Illinois Indians, as translated by French explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet. White connector 2 provides connection to Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.40 Mile 25 minutes, one way Linear Brown At the shelter house 2 parking area at the end of VM Picnic Drive

Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .50 Mile View map

The Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail features the wetland and bottomland wooded areas of the Oumessourit Natural Area. The wetland is a natural remnant of the dynamic Missouri River floodplain. The trail features interpretive panels describing features along the way. An elevated metal walkway loop allows a view into the marsh. Oumessourit (pronounced “Oo-mah-soo-ree) was the name given to the Missouria Indians by the Illinois Indians, as translated by French explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet. White connector 2 provides connection to the Oumessourit Wetland Bluff Trail.

 

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.50 Mile 30 minutes Loop Orange At the shelter house 2 parking area at the end of VM Picnic Drive