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Seniors invited to tour area parks

Area senior citizens are being invited for free tours of three state parks and historic sites this month, with parks staff hoping to provide an opportunity for those who can not regularly enjoy the area’s natural resources to do so.

The Seniors to State Parks program is provided by a grant from the Missouri Parks Association and provides tour opportunities to seniors around the state.

Washington State Park Natural Resource Manager Sharon Hultberg said the two local tours coming up later this month will be the third year the park has been involved with the program, and will feature tours of two state parks and one state historic site.

“They are generally the same type of structured bus tour,” Hultberg explained. “We partner with different state parks each year. The first year, we partnered with St. Francois State Park for the Big River Tour. The second year we partnered with Mastodon State Historic Site and we did a ‘Tour Through Time,’ where they travelled from Mastodon State Historic Site to Sandy Creek and Washington State Park.”

The theme for this month’s tour is “Missouri State Parks Rock!” and will have Washington State Park partnering with St. Joe State Park and Missouri Mines State Historic Site.

“The seniors will get either a bus tour or a standard tour of each location,” Hultberg said. “At St. Joe State Park they will get a bus tour and at Missouri Mines State Historic Site, they will tour their facility and museum. Then they will have a tour here at Washington State Park.”

The tour will be hosted on two days later this month, with the tour leaving from two different locations. On Sept. 18, a tour will depart from the Park Hills Senior Center and on Sept. 20 a tour will depart from the De Soto Public Library.

There is limited registration for both tours and interested participants can register by contacting the applicable location of departure. To register for the Sept. 18 date, contact the Park Hills Senior Center at 573-431-4974; to register for the Sept. 20 date, contact the De Soto Public Library at 636-586-3858.

Both tours will be leaving the respective locations at approximately 9 a.m. and will return between 4 and 4:45 p.m., depending on the individual tour’s pace. The tour is free and limited to senior citizens, with lunch provided.

“This is one of several Missouri State Parks Senior to State Parks Tours,” Hultberg said. “They can also check out the state parks’ website to see if there’s anything else offered at other facilities.”

Those on the tour will get the chance to learn about mining history at St. Joe State Park and Missouri Mines State Historic Site and about ancient rock art and historic stonework at Washington State Park.

For more information, contact Washington State Park at 636-586-5768.

Senior Citizens who join the Seniors to State Parks tour on Sept. 18 or Sept. 20 will get the opportunity to visit the Missouri Mines State Historic Site's museum, in addition to other state parks.

Senior Citizens who join the Seniors to State Parks tour on Sept. 18 or Sept. 20 will get the opportunity to visit the Missouri Mines State Historic Site’s museum, in addition to other state parks.

St. Joe State Park’s ORV activities will halt for the time being, although the bicycle paths and trails will remain open at this time. Elephant Rocks and a few other popular state parks around the state will be closed effective Thursday. 

St. Joe State Park’s ORV activities will halt for the time being, although the bicycle paths and trails will remain open at this time. Elephant Rocks and a few other popular state parks around the state will be closed effective Thursday. 

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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