Exploring Missouri State Parks: Crowder

This post is one in a series of 52 posts featuring a Missouri State Park of the Week for each week in 2015. To find all Missouri State Parks of the Week posts simply click here, or visit the “Outdoor Adventure” category on the homepage. Happy exploring in 2015 and enjoy the show!

Tucked into the farmlands of the northwest corner of Missouri, Crowder State Park is a rich refuge of forested hills and river bottoms.

The 1,912-acre park surrounds Crowder Lake in Grundy County, and is named for Enoch Crowder, a military leader who drafted the Selective Service Act in 1917 and later was a teacher at the University of Missouri.


The park has four marked trails, including the 8.6-mile Thompson River Trail, which can be done in two loops.

The popular north loop of the trail leads down the steep hills to the Thompson River. Along the way, it detours toward a hollow nearly hidden in the forest that contains mystery inscriptions on rock slabs and overhangs.

Visitors a century ago inscribed the messages into the rock, but why they chose this spot for their labor remains unknown.

Visitors to the park can camp, picnic and hike, and the 18-acre lake offers fishing and swimming.

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