Farmington Things to Do

  • Allan resting and enjoying the scenery
    Allan resting and enjoying the scenery
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  • Natural Openings in Rock Formations
    Natural Openings in Rock Formations
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  • One of several natural springs
    One of several natural springs
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Best Rated Things to Do in Farmington

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    Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary

    by deecat Updated May 6, 2011

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    Brochure from Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary

    Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary was established as a permanent home for exotic cats. They use presentations, tours, and youth programs to educate people about the dangers that these beautiful cats face in the wild and in captivity.

    At the sanctuary, there are 5 big cats:

    Parents, Mohan and Raja.

    1. Mohan is a blue-eyed White Siberian tiger He is quite the beauty.

    2. Raja is an Orange Bengal. She is quite active and balances on the balance beam.

    Female Tigers, Thor and Gracie

    3-4. Both Gracie and Thor are a lighter orange than Raja; they are Bengal/Siberian mix known as "Hetro".

    African Lioness, Alexis

    5. Alexis is the youngest of the group and is an African lioness.
    She is the most playful of all the cats.

    There are tours:

    The general tours: Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m.

    Siberian VIP Tour [includes a visit to the photography platform and living classroom]
    Call 24 hours in advance for reservations: (573) 883-9909.

    There is a restaurant and Lodging also. A few steps away from the exotic cats, you are able to experience a gourmet dining experience at the Tiger Ridge Restaurant which is considered "upscale American cuisine such as steaks, homemade desserts, lunch, dinner, and banquets.

    In addition, they offer lodging at Crown Ridge Estate just outside the Tiger Sanctuary. Here you will find:
    Tiger Pointe
    Tiger View Lodge
    Tiger Den

    They have a swimming pool, tennis courts and nature trails.

    Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary is funded by a non -profit 501c3 Corporation, and all proceeds go directly for the care of the animals.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Zoo
    • Family Travel

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    Dr. F. R. Crouch Nature Sanctuary

    by deecat Updated May 8, 2011

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    Dr. F. R. Crouch Nature Sanctuary
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    Right next to Engler City Park we noticed a sign for Dr. F. R. Crouch Nature Sanctuary. In fact, we parked it the Sanctuary parking lot!

    On the west side of Engler Park, it is quite WOODED. It contains a 35-acre Dr. F. R. Crouch Nature Sanctuary, and even though the land belongs to the City of Farmington, it is maintained by East Ozarks Audubon Society.

    There is a path through this woods that is call the Lewis Trail, and that trail divides. The right side leads to a well developed "all-weather bird viewing blind; the left side leads through an old field which now contains a young growth of hardwoods, red cedar, and scattered pine trees."

    The Audubon Society has bird feeding stations that hold sunflower seed, niger seed, and suet blocks for the birds. There is also two tables that are covered with wild bird seed. There are more than 25 wintering species that have been spotted at this station.

    The land for this sanctuary was discovered by"birders from the Audubon chapter in the early 1980s when they found an abundance of springtime migrating warbers, vireos, and other species." It must be noted that some people have seen deer, turkey, and bobcat.

    I really enjoyed this portion of the area and walked the entire paths, spotting several birds. What a delightful experience.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching

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    Pickle Springs Natural Area

    by deecat Written May 6, 2011

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    Allan resting and enjoying the scenery
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    Be sure to view all the "hidden" photographs to see more of this Natural Area

    All the locals informed us about Pickle Springs Natural Area near Farmington, Missouri. After we finished "giggling" about the name, we inquired about directions and about what to expect once we arrived.

    First off, the National Park Service has named Pickle Springs "a natural landmark with national significance". This area is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is recognized for the biological and geological values and as an "undisturbed site".

    We took the two-mile trail that winds through the area and which is called the "Trail Through Time". There are lots in the area of wonders that are carved in the sandstone [over the last 500 million years!]

    We saw bluff views, sparkling streams and lovely canyons. This trail we took goes through "The Slot" which is a crevice that is marked with holes, ridges, and pockets as well as sandstone formations called hoodoos of rock pillars. There are twin foot bridges that cross Bone Creek that lead to Mossy Falls.

    We also saw areas called: Spirit Canyon, Owl's Den, Rockpile Canyon, Dome Rock Overlook, Headwall Falls, and Piney Glade.

    This was quite an adventure and one we soon won't forget.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Hawn State Park

    by deecat Updated May 6, 2011

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    Allan walking in Hawn State Park
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    We thought that Hawn State Park near Ste. Genevieve Mo. was lovely with its forest of Oak and Pine trees, with its sandstone bluffs and canyons, and with its clear sand-bottom streams.

    It has 4,953-acres of park and part of that is almost 3,000 acres called "Whispering Pine Wild Area". This is the area for backpacking, bird watching, and studying nature. We were told that this is the only place in Missouri where there are such rare plants.

    There are water falls, wildflowers, and a river called River Aux Vases and a creek called Pickle Creek. Both of these water ways are really pristine.

    When we arrived at the park, we had to sign in so someone would know where we were because we had to indicate which trail we had taken. Note that most of the trails are at least 4 miles in length.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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    Elephant Rocks State Park

    by deecat Updated May 6, 2011

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    Elephant Rocks St. Park Brochure

    The most dramatic of all the parks in Missouri [I think] is Elephant Rocks State Park in Belleview, Missouri. Here, there are GIANT granite rocks that stand end-to-end like a "train of circus elephants"; thus, the name of the park!

    Almost 1.5 billion years ago, hot magma cooled and formed coarsely crystalline red granite which later weathered into HUGE rounded boulders and that's what you see all over. The largest elephant rock is Dumbo who weighs 680 tons!

    If you follow the one-mile Braille Trail, it passes by a quarry pond and a short spur off of the trail takes you to the top of the granite outcrop where you can explore this maze of giant elephant rocks. How cool is that?

    There is a second spur, and it takes you to a place that overlooks an old quarry site. This was the first commercially quarried site in the late 1800s. It is red granite and has been used for building material and as paving blocks for "the St. Louis levee and downtown streets".

    There is also another trail off the Braille Trail that will take you to the "ruins of an old railroad engine house".

    The area boasts of thirty picnic sites, restrooms, and a playground. But, I must warn you that you must watch children very carefully because the huge rocks which people climb can be quite dangerous!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Wine Tasting

    by deecat Updated May 7, 2011

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    Sand Creek Vineyard & Winery
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    Please be sure to take a look at all five photographs to see inside and our and to meet the owner of Sand Creek Vineyard and Winery

    This is wine country here near Farmington, Missouri, and so, one of our activities was to taste wine.

    We went on a Monday afternoon when it was cool and cloudy, and we discovered that there are not too many places open for tasting on Mondays. An exception was Sand Creek Vineyard outside of Farmington. It happens to be one of the newest family owned and operated vineyards in St. Francois County. {And, from what we tasted, it is one of the BEST!} It was established in 2002, but they did not open their new and spacious tasting room until October of 2008.

    The most unique feature of this new tasting room is the beautiful cupola above the room. This is a beautiful place with lots of wood and a large stone bar. There is also a huge veranda just outside the beautiful double doors. The veranda has a fire pit, wildlife abounding, and a scenic view of the countryside.

    We discovered that the vineyard offers draft bottled beer for the non-wine drinkers; sausage, cheese, crackers, and chocolate. During the season, they have live entertainment on the weekends.

    Dave & Lisa Ikemeier own Sand Creek Vineyard. We met Dave, and we had such a lovely conversation and wine tasting experience. Both Allan and I agreed that of the ten wines that were tasted, we loved all of them. This vineyard is the only one that does total HAND PICKING AND HAND PRESSING! Of course, we bought a bottle of wine and were more than pleased.

    If you are ever in Farmington, Missouri the Route duVin [Ste. Genevieve Missouri Wine Trail], be sure to stop in at Sand Creek Vineyard and Winery and say hello to Dave and Lisa and taste their delicious wines.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Wine Tasting

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    Fort Davidson State Historic Site

    by deecat Updated May 7, 2011

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    Fort Davidson State Historic Site
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    Once we discovered a Civil War Battle Field and Fort nearby, we drove to Pilot Knob, Missouri, to visit Fort Davidson State Historic Site. It was quite extraordinary and worth the drive and the time.

    Fort Davidson State Historic Site preserves Fort Davidson and the Pilot Knob battlefield. This is the place where 1,450 Confederate men were lost. Confederate Maj. General Sterling Price had invaded Missouri from Arkansas with an army of 12,000 men. This happened in September of 1864 while they were en route to the St. Louis area He was assured of victory because his target was the weakly defended Union post of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob.

    His men outnumbered the Union men by thousands. However, that did not matter because his army lost so many. This valley in Arcadia Valley in Iron County was the scene of one of the largest and most hard-fought battles waged in Missouri, and it was called The Battle of Pilot Knob.

    This historic site has a beautiful and well maintained Visitor Center where they do a great job of interpreting the battle and Major General Price's raid. The center features exhibits, a research library, an audiovisual presentation, and a fiber optics diorama of the battle. A reproduction of the earthen fort is in the field next to the Visitor Center.

    They do reenactments, lead tours, provide excellent brochures and booklets along with maps, etc. There is also The Battle of Pilot Knob Driving Tour which includes 1) Shut-In Gab, 2) Arcadia Valley, 3)Russellville Junction, 4) Fort Curtis, 5) Montgomery's Battery, 6)Iron County Courthouse, 7) Ironton Gap, 8) Shepherd Mountain, 9) Knob Creek, 10) Pilot Knob Mountain, 11) Iron Furnace, 12) Railroad Depot, 13) Immanual Lutheran Church, 14) St. Mary's Catholic Church, 15) Caledonia-Potosi Road, and 16) Arcadia Valley.

    This is quite educational, historical, and memorable.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors
    • National/State Park

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    Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center

    by deecat Updated May 8, 2011

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    Great River Road Welcome Center
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    We would suggest that your first stop should be at the Great River Road Welcome Center to gather up the vast amount of brochures, maps, information that is available. In addition, it would be an excellent idea to take a few minutes to view the Video Tour. It is really well done and quite informative. Even though I had been in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, before, I had not visited this center then. This video provides outstanding background information; gives you a "bearing" of where everything is located; and it sets a mood for the times and the culture.

    The construction and design of this relatively new building is worth the visit itself. The wood is so abundant and beautiful. The information is displayed well, making it easy to find what you need. The center displays original sketches of historical houses by Roscoe Misselhorn as well as various rotating exhibits.

    We liked the exhibit of the Mississippi River's flows and floods "over the past five hundred years".
    I purchased a few post cards; they have collectables, gifts, books, as well as all the tourist brochures.

    This welcome center is open year round and provides public rest rooms. There is plenty of parking. I noted that Group Tours are available.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

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    Engler Park

    by deecat Updated May 8, 2011

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    One of the lakes in Engler City Park:  Guessing
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    While in search of a Wine Tasting spot, we accidentally discovered a perfect park in Farmington, Missouri. It is located in the Industrial Park and is connected to a Nature Observatory.

    This park is called Engler and is quite impressive with its angler's lakes [two lakes open for fishing], two outstanding playground areas, picnic shelters, a 3-mile bike trail, basketball courts, a huge multi-use pavilion with electricity, water, and lots of parking.

    There are six soccer fields, and some are lighted! The park also has jogging and walking trails [these trails are excellent for families and seniors as they are easy to walk with lovely scenery.
    An adjacent park has baseball and softball fields.

    This park is located along the Farmington Airport Green, and "it makes use of the old railroad bed". An interesting note is that in the past, this part of the railroad was important for the transportation of LEAD to the smelters.

    The south side of Engler Park is bordered by St. Francois River where more fishing can be done.

    See Added Photos:

    1. Guessing Lake

    2. Walking/Jogging Path

    3. One of Two Playgrounds

    4. Sanctuary at Thompson Lake for parents whose children have died

    5. Bridge

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Fishing

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