Thousand Hills State Park

20431 State Hwy. 157
Kirksville, MO 63501


The cool waters of Forest Lake provide the centerpiece for Thousand Hills State Park, whose woody shores and broad savannas recall a time when northern Missouri was far less developed. The lake offers fishing, swimming and boating. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, and abundant opportunities to see wildlife. An interpretive shelter helps visitors understand the petroglyphs left behind by the area’s inhabitants more than 1,500 years ago. The park also offerscampsites and cabins for overnight stays.


Thousand Hills State Park has two campgrounds offering basic and electric campsites. For a little extra space, try one of the park's family campsites located in Campground 1. The park also has a special-use camping area.

The park store offers supplies for your camping stay.

To make a reservation or view campsite details, photos and availability, go to the reservation website by clicking the “Make a Reservation Now” link below. Reservations may also be made by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766).


Excellent fishing opportunities await you at Thousand Hills State Park, where you can cast your line into the 573-acre Forest Lake for crappie, largemouth bass, walleye and channel catfish. An accessible fishing dock and fish cleaning station are available.

All largemouth bass more than 12 inches but less than 15 inches, and all walleye less than 15 inches in total length must be returned to the water unharmed immediately after being caught.
Fish may be taken only with pole or rod with an attached line, limb lines or bank lines with the exception of carp, which may be taken by gig, longbow or crossbow during statewide seasons (no trot lines or jug lines allowed).
Not more than three poles or rods may be used by one person.
Bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken during the statewide season, but only by hand, hand net, gig, longbow or hook and lines.
Seining or trapping live bait is prohibited.
Outboard motors over 90 horsepower are not allowed to operate on Forest Lake.


Launch your boat onto Forest Lake at the paved boat ramp, located in close proximity to the park's dining lodge. The ramp is approximately three stalls wide. A city permit is required on all private boats. Inboard and outboard motors over 90 horsepower and personal watercraft are not allowed to operate on Forest Lake.


A swimming beach with showers and dressing rooms available in the change house is located along the shore of Forrest Lake. 

Lifeguards are not provided. Swim at your own risk.
No pets are allowed on the beach.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the beach.


Water recreation is a highlight of Thousand Hills State Park's outdoor activities. The lake and its 17 miles of shoreline make it popular for fishing, water skiing, paddle boating, canoeing and motorboating.

At the marina, you can rent all types of boats including paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, fishing boats and pontoons. The marina also rents dock slips on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis as well as has a variety of ski and boating accessories for rent.

At the park store, located in the marina, you will find grocery items, all your picnic necessities, bait, firewood, ice, gas and permits for fishing and boating.

Picnic Areas

Bring along a picnic lunch as there are more than 60 picnic sites located within Thousand Hills State Park.

For larger groups, there are four open shelters and one enclosed shelter. The shelters provide a perfect venue for hosting large family gatherings or special outings and can be reserved in advance for a fee.

The enclosed shelter can be reserved for $95 per day and has an occupancy limit of 75 people. The shelter includes two grills, 12 tables, benches, a stove, refrigerator, electricity and a restroom facility with water on location. This shelter is accessible to people with disabilities.
Point Shelter, an open shelter that accommodates up to 69 guests, includes two grills, a children’s playground facility, electricity and water. The reservation rate is $75 per day. A flush restroom is nearby.
Shelter 2 and Shelter 3 can be reserved at a rate of $45 per day. They accommodate 36 and include outdoor grills.
Beach Shelter can accommodate up to 48 people and is accessible to people with disabilities. It has a water hydrant and group grill and there is a vault toilet nearby. It can bee reserved ro $45 per day.
If not reserved, all open shelters are open to park visitors at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.


Children’s playground facilities are located near Point Shelter, in Campground 1 and in the main day-use picnic area.

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