If you and your furry sidekick find yourselves traveling along Route 81 near the Missouri-Iowa state line, be sure to swing by the Battle of Athens State Historic Site! Nestled on the banks of the Des Moines River, this remote site is not only a peaceful spot to stretch your legs, but also a great place to brush up on local history!
As the location of Missouri's northernmost Civil War battle, the Battle of Athens State Historic Site features several historic buildings, including the Thome-Benning House, which was pierced by a cannonball during the conflict. While your canine pal may not care for the history of the 408-acre park, they'll be pleased to know that there are 2.5 miles of trails available here. Take your pooch for a leashed hike on the Snow Trillium Trail, which will guide you through an upland forest, past stream crossings, and to the top of a river bluff, where puptastic views of the Des Moines River valley await. During springtime, you'll pass by small waterfalls as well.
After your hike, head to one of the park's three picnic areas to enjoy a packed lunch with your pup. If you feel like having a barbecue, grills can be found in the picnic areas in the day-use area and next to the lake. For an extended adventure at the Battle of Athens State Historic Site, pitch your tent or park your RV at the campground, which is open from April to November and welcomes up to two dogs per campsite. Basic and electric campsites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. While clean-up bags are offered in many locations, be sure to have them on hand when exploring other areas of the park. Always have drinking water to share with your pup too.
Whether you and Fido stay for an hour or a weekend, always keep your four-legged friend on a leash no longer than 10 feet and clean up after them. Note that all buildings are off-limits to canines.
For a furrific time in northeast Missouri, visit the Battle of Athens State Historic Site!