Washington State Park
Standing on a high bluff overlooking
Big River in Washington
State Park, it’s easy to see this was
sacred ground to the Indians who once called it home. They left behind
a record of their presence in a series of stone carvings, or petroglyphs,
like those pictured on our cover.
Petroglyphs can be found elsewhere in Missouri but Washington State
Park, located between DeSoto and Potosi, contains almost two-thirds
of the Indian stone carvings yet discovered in Missouri.
They are found in three clusters. One group, covered by a fiberglass
roof and reached by a short boardwalk, is just a stone’s throw
from Highway 21.
The Indians weren’t the only group that left beautiful stone
art at the park. Between 1934 and 1939, an all-black company of the
Civilian Conservation Corps set up camp at the park and built many
of the beautiful stone stuctures that are now listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. Inspired by the Indian carvings, they
made their own stone thunderbird to grace the entrance to the dining
They also laid the 1,000-step trail that winds uphill from what is
now the camp store. The intrepid will find a magnificent view of the
Big River valley at the top (photo at left). The park offers camping,
cabin rentals, swimming, canoeing and fishing.
For more information call (636) 586-5768 or visit
Web site at mostateparks.com/washington.htm.