The Insider's Guide to Trail of Tears State Park in Cape Girardeau

Cape Girardeau, Missouri is a river town that is home to the Trail of Tears State Park. The town sits on the southeast edge of Missouri, right on the banks of the Mississippi River and a few other attractions.

Trail of Tears State Park
429 Moccasin St.
Jackson, MO 63755
www.mostateparks.com

The Trail of Tears State Park in Cape Girardeau is one of nine stops on the Trail of Tears that the Cherokee Indians made many years ago on their way to Oklahoma. They crossed the Mississippi River in Missouri in the winter, and many of them died. Stop in at the visitor's center to find out more about the Indians and their crossing. You can also learn about the park's resources while you're there. As you walk through the park, you can enjoy the beautiful rolling prairies and amazing views of the mighty Mississippi. You can take advantage of the river and Lake Boutin and do some fishing or swimming. There are concrete boat launches on the lake and river for visitors to use. Stop in at one of the shaded picnic sites near the playground to relax before hitting the trails. You can hike the trails or ride them on horseback. The park and overlook is open year round, but the visitor's center is only open during certain seasons. The Trail of Tears State Park is not far from your Cape Girardeau bed and breakfast.

Cape River Heritage Museum
538 Independence
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
www.caperiverheritagemuseum.com

The Cape River Heritage Museum is located in downtown Cape Girardeau, and gives visitors insight into the area's history with its artifacts and memorabilia. You will see lots of exhibits, tours and programs that entertain and educate. The building itself was constructed in 1909 as a combination firehouse, courthouse, police station and jail. The museum is open from March through December, with a small admission fee of $2. Normal operating hours are Thursday and Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., with longer hours in the summer. The museum is host to many events and special programs throughout the year.

Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
113 Bollinger Mill Road
Burfordville, MO 63739
www.mostateparks.com

The Bollinger Mill State Historic Site includes a four-story mill from the 1800s, and one of the last few covered bridges in Missouri. There are demonstrations at the mill where you can watch the process of turning corn into meal. You can see all of the antique equipment and walk through the covered bridge which spans the Whitewater River. The bridge is 140 feet long with a height clearance of 14 feet. The grounds are open daily with tours available during the summer season. There are two picnic tables with a restroom and a water fountain. This is a popular spot for taking pictures and watching birds and wildlife. This historic place makes for a nice outing from your Cape Girardeau inn.