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Great Outdoors in Cape Girardeau: Trail of Tears State Park

Fall foliage is in full swing in Cape Girardeau, and it’s the perfect time of year to visit Trail of Tears State Park, only 11 miles north of downtown Cape Girardeau.  Courtney, Denise, Betty, Julie and Steve work at the park, and have shared with us their personal favorite spots and other ideas on how to enjoy this beautiful area.  

What are your favorite things about Trail of Tears State Park?

“The beautiful overlooks of the Mississippi River, which are accessible whether you want to drive or hike.” -Courtney C

“My favorite thing about our park is the cultural history. We have several great examples of the rich cultural history of Southeast Missouri, including the Mississippi River crossing of the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears.” -Julie N

“The variety of trails and the great views they offer of deep forests and a large river valley.” -Denise D

“My favorite thing about the park is how natural and pristine the native plant and animal communities are within the park.” -Steve S

What are things you wish visitors knew about the park?

“I wish visitors knew that we are only a short distance from downtown Cape Girardeau, and that our park offers many activities such as hiking, swimming, fishing and camping.” -Courtney C

“The National Park Service video that we show in the Visitor Center. It is captivating, educational and very well made!” -Julie N

You have 1 hour at Trail of Tears State Park.  What’s your game plan to get the most of out the visit in a short timeframe?

“Hike the yellow portion of the Peewah Trail out to the overlook of the river, or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it at one of our many picnic sites.” -Courtney C

“Make sure you go up to the Overlook for that stunning view of the Mississippi River!”
-Julie N 

“Drive slowly through the park and visit the historic monuments and enjoy the beauty of the park.” -Betty V

“Get some sun on the beach or spend it peacefully under a shade tree reading a book.” -Denise D

“Sit at the boat ramp for the Mississippi River and see how many birds pass by.” -Steve S

The park offers many programs and guided hikes, give them a buzz to see what they have cookin’!  Denise mentioned that “the fall colors usually look spectacular by the 3rd week of October,” so head out to Trail of Tears State Park for a hike, a picnic, river views and more with the fall leaves providing a colorful backdrop.

Many thanks to the kind folks at Trail of Tears State Park who spent time putting their favorite parts of their site into words to share with us!

Your outdoor adventure starts in Cape Girardeau with miles of trails, unique parks, the nature center and more – all with the Mighty Mississippi right in your backyard. Learn more about the Great Outdoors in Cape Girardeau here.

Comments 1
  1. It will be quite a while before we can feel safe to walk about, but I’m lining up itinerary to enjoy. Trail of Tears park was my goal to hike when I arrived in Cape two years ago. Now it is a priority! Thanks for your info on the park.

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