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Washington State Park, De Soto

Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
3.8/5 based on 40 reviews on the web
Washington State Park is a Missouri state park in the central eastern part of the state located on Highway 21 about northeast of Potosi on the eastern edge of the Ozarks. The park is noted for its Native American rock carvings and for its finely crafted stonework from the 1930s.Stone carvingsThe carvings, or petroglyphs, carved in dolomite rock, are believed to have been made around 1000 to 1600 C.E. and to give clues to the lives of the prehistoric Native Americans who once inhabited this part of Missouri. It is also believed that the park served as ceremonial grounds for these Middle Mississippi people who were related to the builders of the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois.Most of the carvings are of birds, arrows, footprints, turkey tracks, human figures, and various geometric shapes and patterns. The three petroglyph sites in the park are thought to be all that is left of a more extensive site. They make up almost 75 percent of the known petroglyphs in Missouri and contain over 350 symbols.Stone structuresThe park was built during the Great Depression of the 1930s by the African-American stonemasons of the Civilian Conservation Corps known as Company 1743. Their efforts left the park with the historical stone structures that still stand today: hiking shelters, picnic pavilions, and the stones that make up the 1,000 Steps Trail.
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  • We just bought a camper this year and we have been using it a lot in Washington state park. Very quiet state park. 
  • Camp, swim, fish and hike. What's not to like. Most beautiful in the fall with all the trees turning. Just gorgeous! Camp ground is great and close to the pool. Or you can tent camp further away from ...  read more »
  • This is a wonderful place to go for the day with lots of outdoor fun things to do. Make sure you visit the petroglyphs! 
  • Great atmosphere. Good for lounging next to river. Easily accessible with sparse visitors. Made for a relaxing and quiet experience.
  • This place is absolutely beautiful and a perfect getaway for families. It's quiet and clean too. We went on a whim because the weather was going to be gorgeous. So glad we did. We ended up with a basic site ;no electric because it's a rather small campground. The basic sites are more private FYI.. We had plenty of sleeping bags,covers, firewood and the weather was great. Our party consisted of two adults and 3 children and we just did tents, sandwiches, snacks, hotdogs etc. Theres a playground for the kids as well and we got up and hit the beautiful beach in the morning. You don't want to miss this gem....
  • Love the hiking here , besides that having an huge pool with a slide for the kids makes it really awesome for them! So far so good! Only been a couple times , so I'm leaving that last star for something new and amazing ! 😊 Really great place to go!
  • Great little 1 bedroom cabin that we rented for the weekend. Very friendly staff, great pool and several really nice playgrounds for kids.
  • This was an absolutely great experience over the weekend with camping and floating. The prices are very reasonable and I couldn't think of a better place to go, at least coming from the Saint Louis area.
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