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Lewis and Clark State Park
Rushville, Missouri
by
Norman W. Hildrum

Lewis and Clark State Park is located about 20 miles southwest of St. Joseph, Missouri off U.S. Highway 59. The park is situated on the shores of Sugar Lake. This oxbow is believed to be the same one that Lewis and Clark named Gosling Lake. In 1934, the state acquired land on the southeast side of Sugar Lake for a state park dedicated to the explorers. Most of the development within Lewis and Clark State Park was completed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

This whole area is rich in American History, especially relating to Lewis and Clark. The United States' purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 opened up a vast new area, the American northwest. It doubled the size of the United States, extending it from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This park is named for Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark who were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804 to head an expedition into lands purchased from France (Louisiana Purchase).Lewis and Clark State ark - Photo by Norman W. Hildrum

The park contains about 70 gravel sites (15 pull-thrus) in a nice park like setting. There are 40 sites with electricity. The shower building is clean and well maintained. Sugar Lake offers swimming, boating and fishing. Our cost was $12.00 per night (10-99).

This park is an excellent base of operations for sightseeing in St. Joseph, Missouri. Attractions worth seeing include the Pony Express Museum, the Jesse James Home Museum, the Glore Psychiatric Museum, the Patee House Museum, and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. The park is also just a short drive to Atchison, Kansas, the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.


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