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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

MO State Parks Centennial Passport Challenge (part 2)!

Updated: Jun 24, 2022


I woke up this morning with exactly one goal: Knock out more state parks for the passport challenge!


Starting out around 6:30 AM I headed to the northeast corner of the state hoping to clear this corner entirely as I did the southeast corner the weekend before.


First was Wakonda State Park followed by Iliniwek Village State Historic Site then the Battle of Athens State Historic Site. Aside from Wakonda, these sites were all completely new to me! Battle of Athens historic site was a real surprise to me as, unlike historic sites tend to be, this offered more or less a civil war era town with multiple structures as they stood back in the 1800s! Normally you see just a single structure and the rest left to imagination. This truly was a pleasant visit with little left to the imagination. How much imagination do you really need when the house is original right down to the hold left by the cannonball that passed through?


From there it was west to Thousand Hills State Park and then towards the south to Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site. Having made the trip to Union Covered bridge along with Sandy Creek Covered bridge and Bollinger Mill Covered Bridge, 3 of the 4 last remaining covered bridges in the state have been visited! The last is still on my list of places to hit and is further west than a day's travel may provide.


To wrap up the excursion, the final destination is one I have hit many times before. Mark Twain State Park and Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site. It was a familiar, easy two-for-one that features a beautiful lake that I caught just before sunset! Always a treat!

Winding down the day, the sun alongside me as I took to the road was once again back at my side as I headed for home.


Completing this trip today added 7 more parks to my list bringing the running total to 21 of 88!


Span of 1 day; Approximately 552 miles; Approximately 44 gallons of gas (some used before the trip began); Approximate average MPG 14.5 (facing strong head winds on the return trip)


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