Watkins Mill State Park

Excelsior Springs, MO
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The trail at Watkins Mill State Park is a paved, easy loop great for all sorts of outdoor activities such as bike riding, running, and hiking.

The trail loops around the lake, giving you views through gaps in the forest. Along the trail are picnic areas, a beach, an historical area, and fishing opportunities. Low elevation gain and a reasonable length makes this a perfect spot for beginners.

From Kansas City MO, take I-35 North to MO 92. Take MO 92 East to County Highway AC. Turn North on AC and then right at the sign for the park.

Parking areas are numerous, and almost all of them connect to the loop trail.

Park Office: 816-580-3387

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7 Completed 2 Reviews

Nice paved trail, frequent views of the lake, off-trails will lead you to some rock and water, lots of resting benches and a few restrooms along the trail.

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46 Completed 19 Reviews

Nice paved trail. Was very busy. Went there in June. Nice stream to stop at. Easy walk at the park. Not secluded. Hard to find peace. Still worth the short drive there. Better for families and young children who maybe want to bike it.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

I would rate this 5 stars but it's only 3.8 miles. Everything else about this trail is wonderful. I saw tons of wildlife and startled a deer that was standing on the trail. You have a nice view of the lake through about 3/4 of the hike. I would recommend parking at the swimming beach where there is more traffic instead of parking on a very isolated spot on the lake. That way the park rangers can actually see your vehicle. Can't wait to do this one again since its only 5 miles from my house. Thanks, Mike

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

Have run this paved trail literally 50+ times over the last decade. Its a flat fast run, mostly shaded, very quiet, with a good balance of not being crowded and not being completely alone. For more adventurous runners or hikers, on the back side of the loop there is a terraced path up a hill to where the BoyScouts often camp. This path up the hill can be used to either add complexity or elevation to a run, or to also access a paved road that runs behind Watkins Mill park, to add additional mileage. Great trail; a family favorite of multiple generations. Thanks Buddy.

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390 Completed 390 Reviews

Did this trail several years ago with the scouts while visiting the historic mill. nice stroll, better with a bicycle. The state park has a nice for fee campground from primitive to RV.

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21 Completed 17 Reviews

I grew up walking and biking around Watkins Mill. Now, as my wife and I decided to get into hiking, it was our first hike as well. This is a great multi-use trail for a beginner, or just someone looking to get out and enjoy a great day. There's plenty of wildlife to be seen, and as with all of Missouri's State Parks, there are a lot of other things to enjoy as well.

There's little elevation gain, and the trail is completely paved, so it's a very easy trail, but there's still some scenery, such as a small falls, and views of the lake, to make it interesting. There is a high possibility of wildlife sightings, too. I don't think I've ever been to the park without seeing lots of birds, deer, and other wildlife.

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