This post is part of an ongoing series summarizing each State Park in Missouri that our family has attended. We hope to visit each of 54 State Parks before the kids graduate from high school.
Our schedule this Summer is quite full, but in the interest of eventually visiting all the State Parks in Missouri, we spent the weekend in Farmington, which happens to be located near a few different sites. One such location is Hawn State Park, which I’m pretty sure I’ve been to, but it would have been back in my Boy Scout days, as they have a pretty good group site. I don’t remember it being a park we visited often, because it isn’t particularly close to Columbia, but I definitely remember other Scouts in other troops talking about going there frequently.
If you look on the map, you’ll see there really isn’t a ton to do there, unless you like hiking and fishing. We were making our stop mostly as a way to check it off the list, so the plan wasn’t to stay all day or anything, so we picked a hiking trail that was maybe a mile or two long. We went along the Pickle Creek Trail, named because it follows the eponymous body of water. It’s actually a relatively long loop trail, so we went about as far as a fork and turned around.
We ended up going 1.8 mi, out and back, and while it wasn’t particularly strenuous, it was definitely pretty rocky and still involved some climbing over large-ish boulders (not quite Elephant Rocks-style, though). There’s actually a 10 mile stretch of trails in the park that’s available for backpacking, so if that’s what you’re after, it may be one of the better locations in Missouri that isn’t on the Ozark Trail system (at least, so far as I can tell).
The camp sites we saw seemed fine, though somewhat limited. There were people staying, including a decent number of folks in tents rather than campers. We were there in mid-June, and though it was a hot June for us this year, it wasn’t too bad that weekend. Honestly, I think the kids would have gotten relatively bored had we actually stayed there, so it was good to visit and not spend the entire weekend there. If they were more into fishing and hiking, that would be a different matter, obviously.
I can certainly see the appeal, though. It isn’t that far from St. Louis, and if you want to hit a 10 mile hiking trail, it’s a good option that’s close to a lot of services. You can also stay in Farmington, like we did, and head in for the day to get a good hike in and dip your toes in the water.
Last, but not least, this is the first weekend Meg had a phone. She used it to take ridiculous pictures. Like her father before her. 🙂