Watkin’s Mill State Park
On the way out of Kansas City, on the outskirts of Lawson, Missouri is Watkin’s Mill State Park. It is a glorious 100+ acres of land that set aside for camping, hiking and fishing. One thing that is of interest for many is the paved bicycle path that circles the entire state park.
This used to be the farmstead of Waltus Watkins and it houses the only mill in America that has all the original parts in tact. Today, it is mainly just preserved as part of the park and is a historical site according to the State of Missouri.
He was one of many farmers from Kentucky that moved to the area in the early 1800’s. It seems that he arrived about the same time as the family of Jesse James came. It is also save to assume that Watkins bought with him a large amount of slaves.
As time went on, he would build a three story wooden mill that would turn wool into yarn to make products that he would send all over the countryside. He became quite the businessmen that dominate the markets of Kansas City and beyond. After his passing, much of the land was set aside for public use.
Camping at Watkin’s Mill State Park
The main reason people go to the park is probably camping. They currently have 96 campsites with 74 of those have electrical hookups. It is also worth noting that five campsites are set aside for those with disabilities. The current fee for using the park is $12-13 per night for basic sites and $19-21 for electrical hookups.
It should be noted that during the “offseason” (Nov 1 to March 31), all public facilities such as the showering building is closed down so you would need to plan accordingly.