Farmington and its surrounding area are teeming with recreational opportunities, making it easy to fill a day with both active and passive activities. The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department oversees the area’s park system, provides sport offerings – including adult softball, baseball and soccer – and hosts a number of community events– such as Country Days, the Wiggle and Giggle Fishing Derby, Winter Wonderland and other family activities. Fifteen parks line the streets of the community offering sites for fishing, playgrounds, ball and soccer fields, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, picnicking and Bar-B-Queing and beautiful open space. One park in particular is dedicated to skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders. The Farmington Skate Park, located at Long Park, is a 30,000 square foot course that is equipped with rails, ramps and obstacles. Active residents have access to the modern Farmington Community Civic Center, which houses multi-use courts for a variety of sports, a 1/8-mile track, a state-of-the-art fitness facility and aerobics room, a six-lane pool, a leisure pool and a mini indoor water park and a number of activities and programs.
For some fun in the water, residents visit the Farmington Water Park, comprised of an interactive playground, a play area for children, two giant slides, a Lazy River winding over 500 feet and 300 chaise lounge chairs for those who are looking for a little relaxation under the rays. Additional sites for outdoor water amusement are Clearwater Lake in nearby Piedmont, K Bridge, the Bone Hole, Old Bridge and The Offsets.
And golfers of all skill levels can appreciate Farmington’s two beautifully-manicured golf courses, which include the 7,069-acre Eagle Lake Golf Club and the 6,568-acre St. Francois Country Club.
Southeast Missouri is packed with beautiful areas that attract outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country. Millstream Gardens Conservation Area has the only white water area in the state, allowing kayakers to ride the water in springtime. The area also has a one-mile hiking trail that meanders along the St. Francois River. Visitors to the area also enjoy Pickle Springs Natural Area, home to a two-mile trail that winds past alluring waterfalls, bluffs, canyons and rock shelters, as well as unique plant life.
In addition to these excellent leisure endeavors are a handful of winsome state parks that dot the map of this southeast Missouri region, drawing in visitors year-round.
Elephant Rocks State Park Created 1.5 billion years ago from cooled hot magma that formed into what is now giant, rounded boulders, Elephant Rocks State Park is a sight to be seen in nearby Belleview. In addition to the unique topography of this area are 30 picnic sites.
Hawn State Park A handful of trails, areas for picnicking and campgrounds comprise this nearly 5,000-acre park in Ste. Genevieve. The Whispering Pine Wild Area, encompassing 2,880 acres within the park, offers the option to backpack, bird watch or simply take in nature. Pickle Creek, which as been designated as a state natural area, also winds through the park.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking and seasonal rock climbing are top diversions at this scenic park located in Middlebrook.
Lake Wappapello State Park Fishermen take pleasure in boating across Lake Wappapello, while other visitors enjoy a number of water amusements including swimming, boating and water skiing. Trails for hiking, backpacking, equestrians and all-terrain bicycles can be found at Lake Wappapello State Park in Williamsville, along with two picnic areas, two campgrounds and eight equipped cabins.
Sam A. Baker State Park Nestled in Patterson, Sam A. Baker State Park offers a boat launch with access to the St. Francois River where fishing and canoing are favorite pastimes. Trails for hiking, backpacking and equestrian-use are available, as well as a visitor/nature center, two campgrounds, cabins, picnic areas, a dining lodge and a separate equestrian camp.
St. Francois State Park Situated in Bonne Terre, St. Francois State Park is equipped with three hiking trails, the Coonville Creek Natural Area, the Big River – which is ideal for canoing – shelters for picnicking and more than 100 campsites for overnight guests.
St. Joe State Park Spanning 8,238 acres – making it the state’s third largest state park – St. Joe State Park in Park Hills features 2,000 acres solely for off-road vehicles (ORV), two campgrounds, a hike and bike trail, an equestrian trail, sites for picnicking and lakes for swimming and fishing.
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park Located in the St. Francois Mountains, this park encompasses some of the most rugged and picturesque areas in Missouri. The park, which is found in Ironton, stretches over 7,448 acres of natural land and offers a great trail system, a picnic area and a campground.
Washington State Park The park’s Indian rock carvings, or petroglyphs, are a popular attraction, as is the 1,000 Steps Trail. Three hiking trails, a picnic pavilion, fishing, canoing and swimming spots and original 1930s buildings are also featured at Washington State Park in DeSoto.
Country Days The first full weekend in June of each year , the Farmington Chamber of Commerce proudly presents Country Days, the areas largest and most exciting event of the year. With free concerts by major Nashville entertainers, excellent regional and local bands, it’s a music lover’s dream. Country Days features events for the entire family, including a huge parade, fantastic midway, Corporate Games, a Bed Race, a Queen Pageant, Arts & Crafts, a talent competition, moonlight bike ride, a pet show and so much more. You’ll want to bring the whole family for Country Days weekend.