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USA Parks
Missouri
Northwest Region
Van Meter State Park
VAN METER STATE PARK
VAN METER STATE PARK
32146 N. Hwy. 122
Miami, Missouri   65344

Phone: 660-886-7537
Toll Free: 800-334-6946
Reservations: 877-422-6766
Email:
The state of Missouri and its principal river were both named after a tribe of Native Americans, known by the French explorers as the "Oumessourit" or Missouri Indians, that once lived in the area of Van Meter State Park. Today, the park provides outdoor recreational opportunities and interprets the area landscape and the Native Americans who found it to be bountiful.

For many centuries, Native American hunters traversed the nearby marshes and prairies and the deep ravines and narrow ridges, locally known as the Pinnacles. In 1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet composed a map that located a Missouri Indian village at the Great Bend of the Missouri River.

Van Meter State Park features remnants of this early village site. A hand-dug earthwork, known as the Old Fort, and several burial mounds lie within park boundaries. The area's Native American history is also interpreted inside the park's visitor center through exhibits and a large mural depicting the life of the Missouri Indians.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the park features hiking trails, an 18-acre lake for fishing, a campground and the Oumessourit Natural Area, which consists of a fresh-water marsh, fens and bottomland and upland forests. Picnic sites and two picnic shelters are nestled under lofty trees.


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Picnicking
Under lofty trees sit picnic sites, a playground and two picnic shelters, which can be reserved, making the park a great place for large gatherings of family and friends. For information on reserving a picnic shelter ($30 per day), please call (660) 886-7537.
Trails
Van Meter State Park offers many recreational opportunities and historical interests. While enjoying the pleasing scenery and relaxed setting, visitors can get a closer look by taking a hike on one of six trails.

Lakeview Trail : This .6-mile trail follows along the west shore of Lake Wooldridge.

Loess Hills Trail : As this two-mile trail circles the lake, it passes through prairielike areas and dunelike loess soil of the Pinnacles.

Earthworks Trail : Beginning in the day-use area, this 1.4-mile trail leads to Native American sites known as the Old Fort and Mound Field. It also winds up the Pinnacles and through the forested part of Oumessourit Natural Area.

Cemetery Trail : This .25-mile trail takes visitors to the Vanmeter (historical spelling) family cemetery, which sits atop a hill alongside ancient Indian burial mounds.

Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail : This .75-mile trail allows visitors to experience the wetland and bottomland forested areas of the Oumessourit Natural Area.

Missouri River Overlook : This short trail (.16-mile) follows the ridge of a pinnacle and ends with a vista of the Missouri River bottoms, the river's forested edge, crop fields and oxbow lakes.
Area Attractions
Under lofty trees sit picnic sites, a playground and two picnic shelters, which can be reserved, making the park a great place for large gatherings of family and friends. For information on reserving a picnic shelter ($30 per day), please call (660) 886-7537.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
January 9 Stay away
Beautiful park undiscovered by the crowds.
November 6 Fantastic, not-overly crowded Park by Sarah
Beautiful trails and a lack of crowds make this the perfect outing for a day.


Area Campgrounds

Lazy Days RV Park/Cafe
Rt. 1 Box 66
Marshall, MO
660-879-4411


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Camping:

Van Meter State Park offers basic and electric campsites, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Services include modern restrooms, showers and water. The showerhouse is closed Oct. 15 through April 30.

Cutting and collecting firewood is not allowed in the park. Firewood is available for sale. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m.

USA Parks
Missouri
Northwest Region
Van Meter State Park
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