National Parks of Missouri

There is currently six National Park Service Site in Missouri and eight associated sites.

Official National Parks of Missouri

  • Gateway Arch National Park (fingers crossed it will be demoted to a National Memorial)
  • George Washington Carver National Monument
  • Harry S Truman National Historic Site
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Associated sites of Missouri

  • California National Historic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Missouri Placeholder
Missouri

Missouri National Parks

Gateway Arch National Park

(fingers crossed it will be demoted to a National Memorial)

George Washington Carver National Monument

Harry S Truman National Historic Site

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

California National Historic Trail

The California National Historic Trail is a massive 5,000 mile trail and runs thru 10 different states.  This trail retraces the overland routes over 250,000 emigrants took to reach the fertile farmlands and famed gold fields of California in the 1840’s and 1850’s.

Unlike some of the other trails of the National Trails System, the California Trail isn’t a single hiking trail. It is a disconnected series of hiking trails, roads, and sites.  Many of the US highways follow the wagon trail the settlers created as they rushed to California.  Emigrants had a choice of routes across the United States.  These trails start in Missouri and Nebraska. The then run thru Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming before splitting into Idaho and Utah.  They go thru Nevada and into California and Oregon.

Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Management

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail follows the route Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took across the United States’ newly purchased territory.  The trail starts at Camp Dubois, Illinois and passes thru Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and ends in Washington.  The trail is a combination of auto, land and water routes.

The Lewis and Clark expedition started in May 1804 with the goal to find a practical route across the western region of North America. They were to lay claim to these lands to limit European expansion.  The expedition was a success.  Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana purchase and made it to the Pacific Ocean.  They recorded the plants, animals, and landscapes as they traveled.  They laid the foundations for future relationships with the American Indian tribes of the relationships.

The trail was established on November 10, 1978.  There are over 100 stops along the trail.

Photo Credit – NPS

Oregon National Historic Trail

The Oregon National Historic Trail is often called the Oregon Trail.  This 2,170-mile trail was used to travel from Independence, Missouri to Oregon Territory.  These men and women headed west to fertile farmlands. The first half of the trail was used by travelers on the California National Historic Trail and the Mormon National Historic Trail.

Roughly 400,000 people packed up their lives into covered wagons to follow the Oregon Trail.  Several stops along the Oregon Trail are their own national park sites such as Scotts Bluff National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.  Many other sites are within a couple hours drive of the trail.

Today, the trail runs thru Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.  The Oregon National Historic Trail is mostly an autoroute.

Photo Credit – Rick Obst

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Pony Express National Historic Trail

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail follows the different routes members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations were forced to march for resettlement as part of the Indian Removal Act.  The Trail of Tears follows the four main routes from Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia thru Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas on their way to Oklahoma.

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail stands as a reminder of the horrific treatment the American Indians suffered at the hands of the U.S government.  It is estimated between 2,000 – 8,000 Cherokee died along the trail (that doesn’t include deaths of any of the other tribes or deaths in the Seminole wats).

Today, visitors to the Trail of Tears can drive any one of the four main auto routes and visit sites such as the Cherokee County Historical Museum, Brainerd Mission Cemetery,  Cherokee National Museum, and Fort Payne Cabin Site to learn more about the journey the American Indians were forced to make and the challenges they faced.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail was created in 1987.

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

View all the National Park Service Sites in neighboring states: