Ready for more RV camping adventures on the Lewis and Clark Trail (PDF)? The pair’s epic journey included a jaunt across Northern Missouri on the Missouri River. Here’s our suggested itinerary for following those intrepid explorers’ path through Missouri by RV.
Stop #1: Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis
Located at the base of the iconic “St. Louis Arch”, the Museum of Westward Expansion is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Complex. An impressive collection of Lewis and Clark memorabilia is housed in the museum, as well as fascinating video presentations and interactive exhibits highlighting the lives of Native Americans, miners and farmers during the time of westward expansion.
About five hours south of El Monte RV Rentals in Chicago, you’ll find this city on the banks of the Mississippi filled with cultural, historic and just plain fun attractions. Campgrounds like St. Louis RV Park will help keep luxurious RV camping affordable.
Stop #2: Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis
After making his way to the Pacific Ocean with Meriwether Lewis, Captain William Clark returned to St. Louis, where he died in 1838. Historic Bellefontaine Cemetery on Florissant Avenue is home to the granite obelisk that marks his passing.
Stop #3: Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center, St. Charles
Less than thirty miles west of St. Louis on I-70, the quaint Missouri river town of St. Charles is home to the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center. Created by the Discovery Expedition, a non-profit group dedicated to commemorating the journey of Lewis and Clark, this historical treasure is a must-see for RV camping American history buffs. You’ll find a museum, a riverside nature walk, and a boat house with exact replicas of the watercraft Lewis and Clark used to navigate the Missouri.
Once you’ve explored this excellent resource on the Lewis and Clark expedition, stay and visit other St. Charles attractions. Katy Trail State Park gives access to the scenic trail that follows reclaimed railroad bed along the Missouri River for more than two hundred miles. Hiking or biking a section of the trail is a favorite pastime for RV travelers to St. Charles. Sundermeier RV Park is close to all St. Charles attractions.
Stop #4: Arrow Rock State Historic Site, Arrow Rock, MO
Now you have a choice to make as you follow Lewis and Clark’s journey west through Missouri. You can either travel I-70 west to Arrow Rock, Missouri, or follow the Missouri River along MO-94 to Stump Island Park in Jefferson City. Jefferson City, the state’s capitol, is noteworthy as Clark noted passing ‘Stump Island’ (there’s an historical marker there) in June of 1804.
If you’re short on time, make the direct trip to Arrow Rock from St. Charles. The town of Arrow Rock on the Missouri River is a living history installation with historic structures, a visitor center and re-enactments of life in a river town. Lewis and Clark noted the area’s salt water streams and the rock from which Indians made many arrows. You’ll also find a campground there, so why not spend some time enjoying this town’s vintage charm? By the way, Arrow Rock is in the heart of “Boone’s Lick Country”, where Daniel Boone’s sons once extracted and sold salt.
We owe an enormous debt to those early travelers, Lewis and Clark, for their amazing journey to the Pacific. Indulge your love of history and enjoy the comfort of RV camping by following the Lewis and Clark Trail through the Show Me State soon.