Watkins Mill State Park, located on the outskirts of Kansas City, is a forested area featuring a 100-acre lake. Here, whitetail deer, wild turkeys and other birds and wildlife are abundant. A walking and biking path circles the lake for nearly 4 miles. The paved trail offers scenic views along a mostly shaded and relatively flat route. A separate 3.5-mile equestrian trail is also available.
Picnic spots can be found along the trail and restrooms are available in the visitor center. Camping is allowed near the southeast corner of the loop. Extend your visit with a stop at the adjacent Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, featuring a 19th-century textile mill and farmstead.
To reach Watkins Mill State Park, take Interstate 35 to Kearney. Go east on State Route 92 for 7 miles, then north on County Road RA for 1 mile to the southern entrance (26600 Park Road North, Lawson, MO). Parking is available within the park.