Exploring Missouri State Parks: Watkins Mill

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!

The 3,600-acre park northeast of Kansas City preserves the elegant estate of Waltus Watkins and the only 19th century woolen mill in North America with its original machinery still in place.

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The Watkins family settled in the area some 150 years ago. The restored home, living history farm with its period gardens and orchards, and three-story brick textile mill give a look into their comfortable lifestyle.

A visitor center provides exhibits and artifacts that interpret one family’s history of 19th century agricultural and industrial Missouri. Nearby is an 1871 church and 1856 octagonal school that the Watkins family attended.

The park features a 100-acre lake with a fishing dock, boat launch and sand swimming beach with a change house. A 3.75-mile paved hiking and biking path circles William Creek Lake.

Tours are available of the home and mill. The park also offers some 100 wooded campsites.

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