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Thousand Hills State Park




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General Information

Description - This information provided by www.mostateparks.com

As the population of Kirksville expanded in the 1950s, the city sought to increase its supply of fresh water. Thousand Hills State Park was created following the construction of the 573-acre Forest Lake to serve as the city's reservoir. Today, the 3,215-acre park offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the best of northern Missouri.

The park's central feature is the lake, created by the damming of Big Creek. While the reservoir supplies water to the community, the park's natural features recall a time when woodlands and savannas covered northern Missouri. Visitors can experience some of these natural wonders by hiking the park's trails.

The cool waters of Forest Lake offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, boating and skiing. Hiking, mountain bicycling and nature study are popular on-land activities. An interpretive shelter displays the park's petroglyphs - rock carvings left behind by the area's inhabitants more than 1,500 years ago. Visitors wanting to extend their stay can sleep in one of the cabins near the dining lodge or camp in a modern campground to experience more of what Thousand Hills State Park has to offer.

Attractions - Thousand Hills State Park Campground Information Thousand Hills State Park offers two campgrounds. Campground 1 offers basic and electric campsites, modern restrooms, showers, water and a dump station. Campground 2 offers electric campsite, modern restrooms, showers, water and a dump station. Both campgrounds offer reservable campsites.

For reservations, there is a required minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.

Dining

The dining lodge at Thousand Hills State Park serves a wide selection of excellent foods and cocktails. Reservations are suggested for dinner. For your convenience, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express are honored. For additional information, please call (660) 665-7119.

Hours of operation for 2005 are as follows: June, July and August Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. September and October Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. November and December Call for closing date Closed Monday and Tuesday Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. January Closed February and March Call for opening date Closed Monday and Tuesday Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April and May Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Lodging

Cabins on Forest Lake in Thousand Hills State Park.Thousand Hills State Park features seven duplex cabins overlooking Forest Lake. The cabins are open March through November. All cabins are air-conditioned/heated. Linens and towels are provided. Each unit has a bath with shower, patio, picnic table, barbecue grill and color TV. Kitchen amenities include service for eight people, apartment size stove, refrigerator and microwave. Check-in time is after 3 p.m. and check-out time is by 11 a.m. There is a $5 charge for each additional person over four per room with a maximum of six persons allowed per room. Rollaway beds and cribs are available at a nominal fee per day. No tents or camping on cabin grounds is allowed. A photo ID and major credit card are required at the time of registration. Late arrivals are advised to call before 6 p.m. so proper arrangements may be made. The office closes at 9 p.m. daily.

Swimming

The beach at Thousand Hills State Park is open May 31 to Sept. 1 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Lifeguards are on duty full time. Dressing rooms and showers are also provided. A snack bar is open at the beach during these times offering soda, chips, water and candy.

The beach will be closed on days the concessionaire and the park superintendent feel the weather is inclement. Please check the boathouse for possible closing information or call the park office at (660) 665-6995.

Recreation - Boat Launch

Located in close proximity to the park's dining lodge is a paved boat ramp approximately three stalls wide. A city permit is required on all private boats. Outboard motors over 90 horsepower are not allowed to operate on Forest Lake. Boat Launch Permits Daily Annual 0-20 horsepower $2 $10 21-40 horsepower $3 $15 41-65 horsepower $4 $20 66-90 horsepower $5 $25

A decal bearing the permit number and year shall be placed on the port of the transom.

Fishing

Thousand Hills State Park boasts excellent fishing opportunities at the 573-acre Forest Lake, which is stocked with crappie, largemouth bass, walleye and channel catfish among others. Forest Lake fishing regulations are as follows: Fish Species Daily Limits Protected Lengths Largemouth Bass 6 12” to 15” Walleye 4 Less than 18” Channel Catfish 4 -- Crappie 30 -- All other fish combined 20 --

* All largemouth bass more than 12 inches but less than 15 inches, and all walleye less than 18 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught. * Fish may be taken only with pole or rod with an attached line, limb lines or bank lines with the exception of carp, which may be taken by gig, longbow or crossbow during statewide seasons (no trot lines or jug lines allowed). * Not more than three poles or rods may be used by one person. * Bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken during the statewide season, but only by hand, hand net, gig, longbow or hook and lines. * Seining or trapping live bait is prohibited. * Outboard motors over 90 horsepower are not allowed to operate on Forest Lake.

Swimming

The beach at Thousand Hills State Park is open May 31 to Sept. 1 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Lifeguards are on duty full time. Dressing rooms and showers are also provided. A snack bar is open at the beach during these times offering soda, chips, water and candy.

The beach will be closed on days the concessionaire and the park superintendent feel the weather is inclement. Please check the boathouse for possible closing information or call the park office at (660) 665-6995. Admission: (All day rates)

Adults $2 Children (3 to 12 years of age) $1.50 Under 3 years of age Free with an adult

Trails

Thousand Hills Trail Thousand Hills Trail was developed as a cooperative project of the Community Betterment Association of Kirksville, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The trail traverses both Big Creek Conservation Area and Thousand Hills State Park and passes through one of the few remaining bigtooth aspen stands in the state. The western portion of the trail follows the shoreline of Forest Lake and offers good opportunities for viewing waterfowl and other wildlife. The trail is approximately five miles long and is signed in a clockwise direction with red arrows. It is open to foot and bicycle traffic only; no equestrian or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use is allowed.

Directions to Thousand Hills Trail Head

1. Take Hwy. 157 out of Thousand Hills State Park to Hwy. 6. 2. Take a right turn onto Hwy. 6. 3. Turn right onto Potter Avenue (although there is no sign at this junction, there is a small reflector on a stop sign post. Potter Avenue is the first right turn you can make once on Hwy. 6 east). 4. Turn right onto Osteopathy Street (pass Casey’s Store on the right, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine hospital on left). 5. Turn right onto Michigan Street. 6. Make a left turn onto Boundary Avenue (Route H). 7. Turn right onto County Road 226 at the sign for for Big Creek Conservation Area (sign is on the left side). 8. Continue until the end of the road. Sign will read “Big Creek Conservation Area.” The sign at the trail head parking lot reads “Thousand Hills Trail.”

Red Bud, Oak and Hickory Trails Located in the developed section of the park, in close proximity to the marina and dining lodge, are three short recreational trails. The trails, Red Bud, Oak and Hickory, are used for hiking only.

Craig's Cove Loop Trail In addition to Thousand Hills Trail, there are two other trails that are exceptional for mountain biking. Craig’s Cove Loop, the shortest of the three trails, is a three-mile loop trail located on the west side of Forest Lake. This trail is suited perfectly for beginners and average riders.

Mountain Biking/Hiking Trail A new six-mile connector trail linking Craig’s Cove Loop to Thousand Hills Trail follows the south end of Forest Lake and is considered to be the most difficult of the three mountain biking/hiking trails.

Climate - Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.

Location - 20431 State Hwy. 157 Kirksville, MO 63501


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More Information

Contact Information:
Thousand Hills State Park, 20431 State Hwy. 157 , Kirksville, Missouri, 63501, Phone: (660) 665-6995
, moparks@dnr.mo.gov

Additional Information:
Missouri State Parks -

Links:
Thousand Hills State Park - Official site of Thousand Hills State Park

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