Washington State Park in DeSoto, Missouri, is absolutely amazing. Today the park features a park store, water craft rentals (canoes, rafts, tubes, and kayaks), gravel river banks to river swim from, rental cabins, campgrounds, swimming pool, playgrounds, trails and so much more; it is hard to imagine that it was once home to a group of Mississippian Indians over 600 years ago. It was these Native Americans that literally left their mark on the area in the form of fantastic petroglyphs, which are (for the most part) still undecipherable even today and the petroglyphs here make up 2/3 of the known Missouri carvings! For the outdoor trekkers you'll find the park is home to three trails: the 1.5 mile 1000 Steps Trail, the 2.5 mile Opossum Trail and the 6 mile Rockywood Trail (backpackers will find a camp on this trail). Although the family and I wanted to "hit em all", for our visit, we concentrated on taking time exploring the petroglyphs, park amenities and then took foot to the 1000 Step Trail.
|The 1000 Steps Trail begins just across|
the lot from the Thunderbird Lodge.
|The steps blend perfectly with the woods,|
complimenting them rather than competing.
|You may even "off trail" as small trail runs near the overlook.|
After hiking the 1000 Steps Trail, and really being introduced to all the outstanding things to do in the park, we can't wait to return to Washington State Park. Next up with most likely be a backpacking trip through Rockywood Trail to view the quarry used by the CCC for the local buildings and a search for the elusive Missouri tarantula!
|The overlook absolutely BEGS you to take photos here!|
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