Thousand Hills State Park, Kirksville

4.5
#35 of 85 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
63 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This place has great walking trails with different difficulty levels. Awesome nature experience. Easy access from Kirksville Area.  more »
  • Just when the trees start turning, this park turns into a cornucopia of colors. Nice place to relax and reflect  more »
  • thousand hills state park has many things to offer a family who would like to spend time in the outdoors  more »
Google
  • Thousand hills is simply one of the prettiest places in Northeast Missouri. Numerous trail systems, a big lake for boating and fishing. Sitting the summer the marina offers host rentals, bike rentals, kayak rentals. The restaurant is out of this world. There is also camping, a beach, and cabin rentals. If you are in the kirksville area, this is a place you must visit
  • A great place to bring a family. Very clean. Nice campgrounds. Good fishing and wildlife viewing.
  • Great place for walkers and bikers. Large bike/walking lanes separate from drivers. Great areas for picnicking. The campgrounds are clean and quiet.
  • Took our Golden for a ride. We enjoyed seeing the geese on the open areas of water. Must have been a few thousand. We've lived here for 40 years and Thousand Hills is our favorite place.
  • Most awesome experience at the lake.... The sounds of the frozen ice was really cool and the rest of the area was literally breathtaking in the ❄⛄ wintertime.
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