State Parks Stories

Missouri State Parks invites you to explore the world of nature our state has to offer. Read our stories and find a state park that's close to you.

The Art of Falconry at State Parks

Meagan Duffee-Yates remembers the moment she became enraptured by raptors.

She was 12 and living with her parents in Dallas, Texas, when the family attended “Medieval Times,” a theater performance that features knights in armor.

“They had a falconry dinner show,” Duffee-Yates said. “They fly birds around you as you eat your dinner.”

In college, she started working with hawks, eagles and owls for educational use.

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Various state parks around Missouri are holding programs to explain the ancient art of falconry.

Hiking the Ozark Trail


California has the PCT. Missouri has the OT.

The Pacific Crest Trail, which spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington, was featured in the movie “Wild,” which earned actress Reese Witherspoon an Oscar nomination.

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Missouri’s 390-mile Ozark Trail includes a forested route through the Ozarks that is scenic and secluded.

Start the Year Right with a Winter Hike

With eight primitive campsites and plenty to explore in between, the aptly named Wilderness Trail in Meramec State Park is one of the best backpacking hikes in the state park system.

I headed out on the trail early one weekday in late fall when the last autumn colors were still hanging around. The hike ended six hours later after a long day full of caves, springs, sinkholes, woodlands, glades and river bluffs. Saw nary a soul along the way.

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Start 2015 off right with a winter hike in Missouri State Parks.


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