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USA Parks
Missouri
Northwest Region
Watkins Mill State Park
WATKINS MILL STATE PARK
WATKINS MILL STATE PARK
26600 Park Road North
Lawson, Missouri   64062

Phone: 816-580-3387
Toll Free: 800-334-6946
Reservations: 877-422-6766
Email:
Watkins Mill State Park

Watkins Mill State Park

It took Waltus Watkins nearly half a century to build his home estate and small community. Included in the 3,600 acres was an elegant home, three-story woolen mill, fruit-drying shed, smokehouse, brick kiln, sawmill, gristmill and acres of well tended orchards and croplands. A brick schoolhouse and church are also in the vicinity.

Many of the original buildings have been restored, and livestock and plants re-introduced to create an 1870s farm. During summer months, the site's Living History Farm Program offers visitors the chance to watch an 1870s family live, work and play.

Tours are given of the Watkins home and Watkins Woolen Mill. The mill is a National Historic Landmark and is the only 19th century textile mill in the county with its original machinery still intact. The visitor center offers an introduction to the Watkins family and their many business ventures.

A bit of history can be combined with a day of outdoor fun. Williams Creek Lake offers opportunities for fishing and swimming. Encircling the lake is a 3.75-mile paved bicycle trail. Picnic sites and a picnic shelter offer a great place to rest or enjoy lunch. For overnight guests, the park offers nearly 100 wooded campsites.
Camping
Watkins Mill has 96 campsites, 74 have electric hookups. Each site has a graveled parking pad, a picnic table, grill and lantern hook. Parking pads vary in length from 38 feet to 80 feet, with the electric sites having the longer pads.

Five sites, three electric and two basic, are accessible for campers with disabilities. Four of these campsites are reservable.

Two showerhouses, a coin-operated laundry and a sanitary dumping station are available for registered campers during the on-season. These facilities, along with the water, are not available during the off-season.

A woodlot is open in the evening during the on-season for campers to purchase wood. During the off-season, the fee collector will sell wood upon request.

Campsites 35-97 are closed November through March.

For reservations, there is a two-night minimum stay required on weekends from April through October and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15. Reservations can be made by clicking on the Campground Reservation System Information link above or by calling 1-877-422-6766 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. CST.

Park Gate Information : The campground gate closes at 10 p.m. during the on-season. Campers need to be sure to arrive prior to gate closure time.

Special-Use Area : A primitive camping area is available for organized youth groups. The area is divided into five sections, each with a picnic table and fire ring. The area has a vault toilet but no water. There is direct access to the bike trail. Groups interested in reserving a campsite in the special-use area should call (816) 580-3387 during office hours. The special-use area is located on the east side of the facility and is accessed from Endsley Road.
Boating
Boat Launch

A boat launch is located at Williams Creek Lake along with a courtesy boat dock. Boat motors are restricted to 10 horsepower or less. A nearby hard surface parking area is available for vehicles and trailers.


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Picnicking
There are three picnic areas, with tables and grills, and additional picnic tables and grills are located along the bike trail near the beach and the shelter house area. Picnic areas are available on a first-come first-served basis. The north picnic area connects directly to the bike trail.
Nature Programs
Guided tours are available of Watkins Woolen Mill and the Watkins family home. The mill is a National Historic Landmark and is the only 19th-century textile mill in the country with its original machinery intact. The visitor center offers an introduction to the Watkins family and their many business ventures.

During the summer months (May through August), the historic site's Living History Farm Program offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a family in the 1870s. Costumed staff and volunteers give demonstrations on cooking, gardening and other period activities.

Natural history programs are offered throughout the summer months in the campground.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 2 Great local camping
I have been coming here for the last 25 years and it is in great shape. I love the campgrounds! They are clean and the bathrooms are top notch. The fishing needs to improve, but it is a great place for some weekend fun.
July 12 ONE MAN,s Favorit Park


Area Campgrounds

Lathrop Mobile Home & RV Park, LLC
309 Pine Street
Lathrop, MO
816-740-3031


Millers Kampark
145 1/2 North Stewart Road
Liberty, MO
816-781-7724


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Directions
From Kansas City : From I-70, take Exit 8 north onto I-435 northbound. Travel on I-435 north for 11 miles until it merges into northbound I-35. Continue north on I-35 for 15 miles, exiting at Kearney (Exit 26). Turn right onto eastbound Hwy. 92 and continue east for five miles to turn left (north) onto Route RA. The park entrance will be on the right off of Route RA.

From St. Joseph : Take U.S. Hwy. 36 east for 27 miles to Cameron. From there take I-35 south for 28 miles, exiting at Kearney (Exit 26). Turn left onto eastbound Hwy. 92 and continue east for five miles to turn left (north) onto Route RA. The park entrance will be on the right off of Route RA.

USA Parks
Missouri
Northwest Region
Watkins Mill State Park
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