Watkins Mill State Park

EASY 31 reviews

Watkins Mill State Park is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Excelsior Springs, Missouri that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
173 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

road biking

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

wild flowers

wildlife

The trail at Watkins Mill State Park is a paved, easy loop great for all sorts of outdoor activities such as bike riding, running, and hiking. The trail loops around the lake, giving you views through gaps in the forest. Along the trail are picnic areas, a beach, an historical area, and fishing opportunities. Low elevation gain and a reasonable length makes this a perfect spot for beginners. Note: No Dogs allowed in park past the Visitor Center.

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

I love coming to Watkins. I walk the trail a lot, camped here for the first time this past weekend and really loved it.

The only problem was noise level with tree trimming and mowing all in the same day...all day.

I will definitely camp there again, though.

3 months ago

Lovely walk. Great for shade in hot weather but also has a south end with fewer trees for cooler weather. One of our favorites.

4 months ago

nature trips
5 months ago

Today I visited the park in the evening. A friend of mine was with me, showing me the park. Unfortunately, on our way around the parks trails they had stepped through poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Red spots were appearing on their legs. The other party with me informed me that there were shower units available and we would be able to rinse the urushiol (the clear liquid in the sap that is the toxin) away.

After emerging from the shower I hear a quite rude and rough voice from about 30 feet away. "ARE YOU GOING TO PAY FOR A CAMPSITE OR ARE YOU JUST TAKING A SHOWER?" Yelled the voice, unnecessarily rudely. When I told him that I did not appreciate the way he was talking to me, I didn't do anything wrong. He proceeded to tell me that the showers were not free unless you were camping. There are no signs posted and the staff was missing except afterwords to verbally batter me.

He then claimed he used to work in a prison and that's why he acted the way he did. I would like to take a moment to highlight the fact that a person who is in charge of safety of people at a facility where children and families stay, is obviously mentally unstable. If his mind was working right he would not have verbally assaulted me as I walked out the shower door. After all this he didn't even try to apologize. Especially considering the fact he wasn't at his post to begin with, this is quite rude to imply that I was in the wrong.

Who sits outside of the shower and attacks people at a park? The person that works there. Possibly a sexual predator? THIS IS SCARY. I want real people working at my local park, not retired prison guards that have mental problems. The atmosphere needs a person who cares, not a person who thinks the world is out to get them. I am not impressed at all with my experiences here. I have even paid to camp here, but I did not today... nor will I ever again.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

walking
11 months ago

walking
11 months ago

Trail circles pond at park campground. Nice, mostly paved trail good for walking, jogging, easy cycling. Lots of wooded stretches, but will also take you past beach and picnic parking lots (bathrooms at beach lot.)

An easy multi use family trail, but you'll be there because you're camping and/or in the area to see the Mill.

Monday, September 19, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

hiking
Monday, May 30, 2016

I have done this the past few weekends. Great trails that are paved and mostly shaded, lots of wildlife and a friendly terrain.

hiking
Wednesday, May 04, 2016

hiking
Sunday, December 06, 2015

Enjoyed walking the paved trail around the lake, but went "off-road" a few times to add some challenge and variety. Crossed the shallow creek, climbed above the trail along a rocky crag, and followed an improved trail that led to a picnic area. With all of the leaves down, it was cool to see other parts of this large state park. If you have time, be sure to visit the historic home, mill, and visitors center.

hiking
Sunday, October 04, 2015

Easy trip from Kansas City. I had been here a few years ago but hiked a different part of the park, near the historic buildings. But this time, I hiked/walked the PAVED BICYCLE LAKE TRAIL and was delighted with the beauty and variety. I had my trusty hiking dog with me, and he enjoyed it, too. On a gorgeous early fall day, there were lots of trail users, incl families with strollers and many bicyclists. I'll definitely come back with my bike some time.
I wanted to end the trip by seeing the historic buildings, so I made my way to the Visitors Center, but was disappointed to learn that they had changed the rules and accessibility for bringing dogs (on a leash); they no longer allow dogs in that section of the park, which you access through the Visitors Center. I couldn't find a "sneaky" way around. Instead, we walked up the paved road along side the Visitors Center toward a youth camp, then called it a day.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Great loop trail, all paved, some wildlife, mostly shaded, very busy.

walking
Saturday, May 16, 2015

walking
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

hiking
Sunday, March 08, 2015