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Can you believe Labor Day is just around the corner? The holiday marks the unofficial end of summer and ushers in the season of pumpkin spice lattes and cozy wool sweaters. Before you say farewell to summer, here are several ways to enjoy the long weekend exploring some of the best outdoor spots in Columbia.

Finger Lakes State Park

Photo by Sandi Peters

If you haven’t had a chance to visit opens in a new windowFinger Lakes, this weekend is the perfect time to do so. Kayak, paddle-board and canoe rentals are available opens in a new windowonline at $25 a day. There are also more than 70 miles of off-road motorcross and all-terrain trails ready to explore. For those looking to relax, there is plenty of sandy beach shore waiting for you.


The Pinnacles

Photo by Sandi Peters

This unique Ozarkian geologic formation is wedged between two rivers and can be found just 20 minutes north of Columbia. Bring your hiking boots and make your way to the top where you will find breathtaking views. Cool off after your hike in one of the creeks or enjoy a picnic in one of the three picnic shelters. Visit during golden hour for amazing shots of the sun peeking over the rocks. 


Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Photo by Sandi Peters

Visitors to this opens in a new windowpark will notice many sinkholes, caves, streams and small springs; all characteristics of karst topography. There are several opens in a new windowtrails of varying length and difficulty perfect for hiking, mountain biking and even equestrian use. We suggest bringing waterproof shoes and a flashlight too as no trip is complete without exploring Connor’s Cave. We highly recommend a return trip in the fall to check out the beautiful foliage.


Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

Photo by Sandi Peters

opens in a new windowEagle Bluffs is the perfect place to take a Sunday drive. A camera is a must for snapping shots of the majestic bald eagles. Check out the 17 wetland pools that provide habitat for animals such as heron, duck, geese, turtles and more. Stop along the Missouri River and watch the eagles soar overhead while enjoying a picnic. For those who don’t mind a hike, you will be rewarded with amazing views. There is a viewing platform accessible from S. Warren School Road or the Katy Trail. Visiting at sunrise or sunset is truly magical.


Katy Trail – Rocheport

Photo by Sandi Peters

The opens in a new windowKaty Trail is full of surprises. Have you been to Rocheport and ventured through the old railroad tunnel under Moniteau Bluff? The tunnel was built in 1893 and is now open only to bicyclists and pedestrians. You might also notice an old railroad explosives cave in the cliffs as you head south towards McBaine. Now is the perfect time to get out there and see what other hidden gems the trail has to offer. Bike rentals are available at opens in a new windowMeriwether Cafe and Bike Shop, conveniently located near the trail. 

Now that you have some new ideas for the holiday weekend, don’t forget to share your photos with us using #ShowMeCoMo. Have fun exploring!