Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville

#34 of 61 in Nature in Missouri
Thousand Hills State Park is a 3215acre Missouri state park located in Adair County, two miles (3 km) west of Kirksville. The park features 703acre Forrest Lake and Native American petroglyphs.HistoryIn 1950, the nearby city of Kirksville was in need of a larger and more reliable water supply than the Chariton River could provide. Following voter passage of a special bond issue, land was acquired to construct a dam across Big Creek, a tributary of the Chariton. Upon completion in summer 1952, the new body of water was named Forrest Lake in honor of Missouri Governor Forrest Smith. The family of local physician George Laughlin donated surrounding the lake for the establishment of a recreation area. The city of Kirksville matched the donation by purchasing an additional. The lands were presented to the state of Missouri free of charge in return for the promise of establishing a state park. Upon its official dedication in July 1953, it was named Thousand Hills State Park, in honor of Doctor Laughlin's Thousand Hills Farm that had formerly occupied the land.PetroglyphsA series of Native American rock carvings, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, can be found in an enclosed observation and interpretation center. The carvings are estimated to date back at least 1,500 years.Activities and amenitiesThe park's lake is used for fishing, swimming, and both motorized and non-motorized boating. A marina offers boat and equipment rentals. Two campgrounds provide a total of 57 campsites. Overnight accommodations are also offered at seven duplex cabins. Trails are available for hiking and bicycling and include the Forest Lake Trail, which is being developed in cooperation with the community volunteer organization FLATS (Forest Lake Area Trail System).
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Thousand Hills State Park Reviews
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61 reviews
  • thousand hills state park has many things to offer a family who would like to spend time in the outdoors  more »
  • You can spend long time without doing, or fishing.We had a fishing time with a lot of friends, We bought license at the Park and spend endless fun time of fishing.maybe no fish at the day. But spendin...  more »
  • I was surprised at how large this park is and the size of the lake. It is a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. We drove through the park, saw 2 deer right next to our car, took some pictures, and jus...  more »
  • Beautiful State Park facility! This park has a wonderful lake (90hp limit) for boating, canoeing, or kayaking. It has a swimming area (no lifeguard) with a sandy rocky beach. It has pavilions, camp sites, cabins to rent, and a nice restaurant overlooking the water. The only downside is that sometimes in the late hottest part of the summer, the water has cleanliness issues.....
  • Nice marina, lots of fun options and good selection of stuff in the store. The swimming beach looked fun, although we didn't have time to enjoy it. The petroglyphs are worth a look, especially if you have any history buffs in your group!
  • Great campground. Has playground for kids. Clean showers and restrooms. Nice lake to fish and swim. Plenty of places to BBQ.
  • The SP was fine. however our experience with the marina has resulted in my party (of 8) of people never returning. They were rude and not helpful, condisending and insulting. I will never return or recommend it this lake to anyone. NO JOKE!!! I was so upset over our experience (may 22-26, 2010) that I even wrote a letter of complaint to the city hall. Don't go here if you want any experience on the water.
  • Prices for camping are good. Swimming is awesome. Hiking is beautiful. All around beautiful place

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