This Missouri state park, located at 873 SE 10 Rd, Knob Noster, Missouri 65336, is an easy 80-minute easy driver from Kansas City, Kansas. The park is open all year round, from sunrise to sunset, for fishing, biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The park also includes picnic areas and campgrounds.
The 3,397-acre park is named after the nearby town of Knob Noster, which, like a “knob,” rises above an otherwise flat section of Missouri. For millennia, the territory that became the park was occupied, controlled, and managed by Indigenous peoples–most recently, the Osage. A local Native American legend believes that the hill rose as a monument to slain warriors. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers praised the area as a “beautiful prairie dotted with clumps of trees.” Wildlife abounds in this park, and you are likely to encounter white-tailed deer, foxes, raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, screech owls, pileated woodpeckers, eastern bluebirds, and great blue herons. Two small lakes in the park contain bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. The Knob Noster area is also the beginning of the Missouri wine country region, which continues further east.
There are several looping trails to choose from, ranging from the shortest 0.6-mile Clearfork woodland trail and the longest 5.4-mile Opposum hollow trail. Each trail accommodates different activities.
Check which activities are permitted on each trail.
If you choose to hike in the summertime, watch out for poison ivy and learn how to treat it (link here).
The area is well-marked with maps for easy orientation
Community Services Librarian
Kansas City, Kansas Public Library
625 Minnesota Ave.
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
913-295-8250 ext 1103