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  • Writer's pictureTrail Guide Joe

MO State Parks Centennial Passport Challenge (part 3)!

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

After a weekend off, it was time to get back into challenge mode! My goal was a lofty one, again, attempting to visit 7 more state parks and historic sites in one day!

Starting out around 7:00 AM I headed to the north central region of the state hoping to clear this area and parts south to the center of the state as long as time allowed.

To the best of my memory, each of these sites were new to me! Even more of a surprise was hearing General Pershing's name for the first time! Being a life long resident of the state, you would think teaching kids about home state historical figures might be a higher priority yet we all know Generals MacAuthur, Eisenhower, & Patton but have never heard of General Pershing, a leader of 2 million men in the European theater of WWII also promoted during his lifetime to General of the Armies, the highest military rank.

Next stop on the tour of north central Missouri was Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site, also a completely new destination! Having made the trip to Union covered bridge along with Sandy Creek covered bridge and Bollinger Mill covered bridge, I was finally able to complete the tour of all 4 covered bridges! My quest to visit all 4 covered bridges was almost halted when I learned Locust Creek decided to reroute itself along the trail to get to the bridge. The park was temporarily closed but with permission, I made my way along the washed out trail to the bridge a short quarter mile away. Quest completed and all within the time of a month!


To wrap up the excursion, the final destinations were again completely new to me; Crowder State Park and Van Meter State Park. As I was still attempting to hit Arrow Rock State Historic Site today, I headed off towards the park only to arrive just a half hour too late. Arrow Rock is then saved for another day when I can clear the parks at the heart of the state! While walking through the cultural center of Van Meter SP, I was made aware of severe storms moving through back home. Being over 110 miles away, this was nothing more than an unwanted alert from my phone disrupting my visit. The damage, whatever it may be, would already be done when I returned home 2 hours later. It is, nevertheless, always wise to keep your head up and eye on the weather when out in the open! Creeks, streams, and rivers will rise all of a sudden, trees and power lines may be downed blocking your route, or you may wind up in much worse.

Completing this trip today added 6 more parks to my list bringing the running total to 27 of 88!

Span of 1 day; Approximately 535.5 miles; Approximately 36 gallons of gas; Approximate average MPG 14.5 (facing strong winds heading out)

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