Twigs snap beneath your feet as you trek the final stretch of the rugged path. The canopy of trees opens and a picturesque panorama surrounds you, looking as though it was painted by Bob Ross himself.
Sometimes a breath of fresh air is just the remedy for the adventurous soul—or the student who needs a break from the mountains of homework and exams. Luckily, Missouri has terrific terrains for any type of nature lover.
Elephant Rocks State Park
The massive elephant-shaped boulders are the main attraction of this park, located in Belleview. These red granite beauties, formed over 1.5 billion years ago, are stacked and scattered across the grounds. Pack a lunch and come to this spot for a picnic or relaxing stroll throughout the herd.
Located in St. Charles County, Klondike Park’s 250 acres of scenic property offer an abundance of outdoor activities. Camp out for the weekend in a tent or cabin, fish in the sandy ponds or tie up your hiking boots and set out on trails that offer magnificent views of the Missouri River Valley.
Tucked along a stretch of Route 66 in the town of Pacific, clusters of stunning caves are just waiting to be explored. The towering rock walls feature orange, yellow and creme-colored stripes that crumble like graham cracker crumbs at the touch. Look out for friendly inhabitants: bats hiding in holes and cooing birds swaddled in their nests.
Story: Julia Peschel
Photo: Julia Peschel