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Washington State Park
Missouri State Park
Country  United States
State  Missouri
County Washington County
Coordinates 38°5′5″N 90°41′3″W / 38.08472°N 90.68417°W / 38.08472; -90.68417
Area 3.36 sq mi (9 km2)
Founded 1932

Washington State Park is a Missouri state park in the central eastern part of Missouri containing Indian rock carvings. These carvings, or petroglyphs, carved in dolomite rock, are believed to have been made around 1000 A.D. to 1600 A.D. and give clues to the lives of the prehistoric Indians who once inhabited this part of Missouri. It is also believed that the park served as ceremonial grounds for these Middle Mississippi people who were related to the builders of the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois.

"Most of the carvings are of birds, arrows, footprints, turkey tracks, human figures, and various geometric shapes and patterns. The three petroglyph sites in the park are thought to be all that is left of a more extensive site. They make up almost 75 percent of the known petroglyphs in Missouri and contain over 350 symbols."[1]

Because of the severe economic recession in the 1930s, this park was built by the African-American Civilian Conservation Corps stonemasons, known as company 1743. It was through their efforts that the park has standing still today, several historical stone hiking shelters, picnic pavilions, and the stones that make up the 1,000 Steps Trail.

"One can only marvel at the effort it must have taken to shape the limestone blocks and then to place them on the hillside.[1]

Washington State Park is located on Highway 21 about 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Potosi, on the eastern edge of the Ozarks. The park covers nearly 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) which allows for many activities such as camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, and swimming either in the modern swimming pool or the Big River.


  1. ^ a b Drew, Nancy. “Ten Miles of Ozarks History.” The Ozarks Mountaineer [Kirbyville] March/April 1993


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