Arrow Rock State Historic Site

Quick Facts

Arrow Rock State Historic Site

Missouri

(660) 837-3330

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

If you enjoy the easygoing serenity of a quiet village, then Arrow Rock is the place for you. Once a thriving riverport, the town is dotted with architectural treasures from the past. Limestone gutters of carefully carved blocks line the main street, marking the toil of earlier generations. Wooden sidewalks and overhead canopies still line store fronts, recalling the grace and aura of times long past. The entire town of Arrow Rock was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

An integral part of this historic town is Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The site's visitor center museum features exhibits that tell about Arrow Rock and the historic "Boone's Lick Country." The Bingham Home, built by Missouri's preeminent artist of the 1800s, George Caleb Bingham, has been restored and furnished as it might have been when he lived there. The Huston Tavern, dating back to 1834, stands ready to serve you its traditional hearty fare. The old courthouse, a town doctor's home, a stone jail and other historic buildings are part of a walking tour offered at the site.

After touring the historic site, shopping at the town's many antique shops or watching a repertory production at the Lyceum Theater, you can spend the night in the site's modern campground. Special events are featured throughout the year, but a visit to Arrow Rock will be a trip through time whenever you go.

Map of Arrow Rock (MO)

Latitude, Longitude: 39.064715, -92.944164

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Activities

  • Camping

    As you enter the campground, you'll see the dump station, which has been modified for maximum accessibility. Parking for the woodlot, shower house and off-season vault toilet is directly in front of you. At this time, this parking lot has a 6.4 percent slope as you pull in. An information board, public phone and shady sitting area is provided next to the woodlot. The shower house entry has a 4 foot, 6 inch turning radius, which may be a barrier for some users. Inside are lever-handle faucets, side-transfer toilets and a shower with grab bars. Some users may need assistance with the showers. The electric loop is to the right and contains two accessible sites. Accessible water hydrants are nearby. The left loop has basic sites with one being accessible. This site is a pull-through site located under two huge oak trees. The shower house in this loop is of an older style and has not been modified. An accessible water hydrant is located at the shower house. All sites provide a fire ring, pedestal grill, extended-end table and lantern post.

  • Fishing

    Big Soldier Lake is named for a Little Osage chief, who negotiated with government agent George Sibley at the Arrow Rock bluff in 1813. Originally built as a shallow stock pond in 1930, the impoundment was renovated and deepened (18 feet at the dam) in 1989. In 1995, a fishing access for persons with disabilities and small parking lot was constructed with funds from the parks, soils and water sales tax. The four-acre lake is stocked and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources. All state fishing license requirements apply. Consult the State Wildlife Code for license requirements. There are no license vendors in Arrow Rock; the closest being in Marshall or Boonville.

  • Hiking

    The Pierre a Flèche (Rock of Arrows) hiking trail is a nearly one and one-half mile loop in the southern half of the site (see site map). The trailhead is in the visitor center parking lot, but the trail may be accessed at several points. The trail is of moderate grade, however, a few areas are relatively steep where it transects the bluffs.

    Three types of the natural divisions of Missouri can be viewed from along the trail:

    Ozark Borderland Oak-hickory forests and under-story vegetation on the bluffs is similar to that of the Ozarks. Big Rivers Bottomland forest of cottonwoods, sycamore and willows. Most of this area is within the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge. Osage Prairie The pre-settlement landscape back from the bluffs consisted of tallgrass prairie and wooded ravines. Farming practices of the 19th century destroyed the prairie grasses, but the area still presents a prairie-like appearance. One-quarter mile of the trail follows the old Boonville-Arrow Rock Road. Some Santa Fe trading caravans departed from Boonville in the 1820s and followed this road. During the Civil War, the road was a major thoroughfare for both Confederate and Union forces. The road was finally abandoned after Missouri Highway 41 was built in the 1920s. Nineteenth century bridge footings are still visible in a couple of locations.

    Arrow Rock River Landing Trail The trail runs along the old warehouse road from the town of Arrow Rock to the river landing. There it connects with the Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery to continue to the Missouri River. Part of the trail is within the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Goods traveling the Missouri to and from St. Louis were loaded and unloaded at the landing. As you near the landing, you can see depressions where wagons loaded with goods traveled from the river to a warehouse or into town.

  • Historic Sites

    An integral part of this historic town is Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The site's visitor center museum features exhibits that tell about Arrow Rock and the historic "Boone's Lick Country." The Bingham Home, built by Missouri's preeminent artist of the 1800s, George Caleb Bingham, has been restored and furnished as it might have been when he lived there. The old courthouse, a town doctor's home, a stone jail and other historic buildings are part of a walking tour offered at the site. The Huston Tavern, dating back to 1834, stands ready to serve you its traditional hearty fare. Learn more about the tavern at http://www.jhustontavern.com.

  • Picnicking

    The picnic area sits among beautiful maple trees and offers a paved individual picnic site with a pedestal grill and extended-end table. Two accessible vault toilets and a water fountain are available nearby. The picnic shelter is of the 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA) craftsmanship and has a flagstone floor and pathway, which may prove to be a barrier to some users. It provides pedestal grills and an extended-end table and accommodates 50 people. This shelter can be reserved.

Seasonality/Weather

Being a functional town that offers bed and breakfasts and the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater, which presents repertory productions in the summer and fall, the site is open year-round, however staying in the campground for a good night's sleep after a day of touring the historic site and town would be most comfortable in the summer or early fall.

Directions

Driving

From Kansas City travel east on I-70. From St. Louis travel west on I-70. From Springfield travel north on U.S. Hwy. 65. From Chillicothe/Trenton travel south on U.S. Hwy. 65.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(660) 837-3330

Links