Annie & Abel Van Meter State Park and Missouri’s American Indian Cultural Center

The Annie & Abel Van Meter State Park park boasts over 1,000 acres of trails, freshwater marshes, lush forests, and camping. The Missouri’s American Indian Cultural Center is also located within the park and features exhibits detailing the nine tribes that inhabited the region, namely the Otoe-Missouria, Osage, Delaware, Ioway, Ilini-Peoria, Kanza, Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, and Shawnee. Murals and artifacts show visitors what life was like in the 19th-century, as well as the impact and long-lasting effects that European exploration had on the tribes. A 10-minute video also gives an overview of the area’s geology and the settlement of the area by the Vanmeter family and development of the park. Trails wind through the Oumessourit Natural Area, leading visitors through freshwater marshes and bottomland and upland forests.

For centuries, the area surrounding the Great Bend of the Missouri was home to the Missouri Indians. They hunted and fished the lush land and bountiful waters. Over time, the area was home to encampments, burial mounds, and at least one village, the remnants of which can still be seen. Today, the site is part of the Annie & Abel Van Meter State Park.

It was here in 1804 that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark greeted the natives and exchanged food and goods. Once the largest population of native peoples in the area, Clark noted in his journal that the majority of them had been wiped out by diseases like smallpox and cholera. At the time of Lewis and Clark’s visit, there were fewer than 400 members of the Missouri tribes left. No longer an independent nation and dealing with raids from the Sac and Fox tribe, the survivors eventually left the area to join with the Otoes, Little Osage, Kansa, and Ioway tribes.

Contact Information

Annie & Abel Van Meter State Park and Missouri's American Indian Cultural Center
Reservations and Information:
(660) 886-7537

32146 N Highway 122, Miami, Missouri 65344, United States

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Other Information

  • Hours Open

    COVID-19 Temporary Hours Effective April 1, 2021, regular on-season hours will resume at Missouri’s American Indian Cultural Center. The center will be open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Occupancy will be limited to 20 people inside at one time, and the audio-visual room will be limited to six people. Visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings. Disposable face coverings and a hand sanitizer station will be placed near the entrance. Regular Hours April through September (on-season) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Monday Closed Tuesday and Wednesday October through March (off-season) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday Noon to 4 p.m., Sunday Closed Monday through Friday (except holiday Mondays)
  • Seasons Open

    Open year round
  • Accessibility

    AT ANNIE AND ABEL VAN METER STATE PARK Accessible SymbolThis symbol indicates that the specified area is fully compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Accessible SymbolMISSOURI’S AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL CENTER The visitor center offers a handicap parking space adjacent to the entrance, which has power-assisted doors. As you enter, you’ll see the information desk and gift shop on your left. An accessible water fountain and restrooms are available with power-assisted doors, front-transfer toilets, lowered mirrors and accessible lavatories. An audio-visual room offers plenty of space to view an informative slideshow interpreting the park’s history. The center has hands-on and glassed-in exhibits. Accessible SymbolCAMPGROUND The campground offers one concrete paved electric site located near the shower house. The site has an extended-end table, fire ring, pedestal grill and lantern post. Level, paved parking with one handicap parking space is available for the shower house. A paved path connects the parking lot with an information kiosk, water hydrant, off-season accessible vault toilet and shower house. The space before the entry doors has a slight slope. Inside the shower house you’ll find accessible lavatories, lowered mirrors, electric hand dryers, front transfer toilets and roll-in showers. DAY-USE AREA This area is level with paved parking and is located under large, shady trees. SHELTER 1 / EARTHWORKS TRAIL / MEMORIAL TRAIL One handicap parking space is located adjacent to the shelter where you’ll find seating for 96 people, an extended-end table, electric service, a group grill and two fireplaces. Earthworks Trail has dirt tread with many roots, steep inclines and can be slippery after it rains. Memorial Trail consists of a steep grade with a dirt and turf tread. On the north portion of the trail, there are roots and timbers used to prevent erosion. On the south portion the trail is grass, but has a steep incline. A wall encloses the Vanmeter Family Cemetery with stairs accessing the site. SHELTER 2 / OUMESSOURIT WETLAND BOARDWALK TRAIL / OUMESSOURIT WETLAND BLUFF TRAIL This shelter also has a handicap parking space with a paved path leading past a water fountain to the entrance. Inside you’ll find seating for 35 people with an extended-end table, a group grill, electric service and two fireplaces. Both the Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk and Oumessourit Wetland Bluff trail are fairly level with dirt and turf tread, and can be muddy a while after it rains. The boardwalks have a metal grate, and require a step up on to the walking surface. PICNIC SITES Between the two shelters are two accessible picnic sites with a handicap parking space, pedestal grills, water fountain and a paved pathway connecting to the playground and shower house. PLAYGROUND The playground has a sand base and is not accessible at this time; however, a shady sitting area is provided for observation. OTHER PARKING AREAS / TRAILS THE LAKE AREA / LOESS HILLS TRAIL / MISSOURI RIVER OVERLOOK TRAIL The parking lot located above Lake Wooldridge is paved and level. The dirt trail to the lake involves slopes in excess of 6%. Bank fishing is allowed and access is typically from the lake dam, which is riprapped with large rock. Loess Hills Trail is quite variable in terrain with inclines greater than 10%, consisting mostly of dirt tread, with roots and other obstacles. Missouri River Overlook Trail is fairly level, with crushed stone tread. At the overlook there is a level metal grate platform and bench. THE MOUND AREA / NORTH EARTHWORKS TRAILHEAD Parking is paved with a slight slope. Access to the mounds is over grass turf. The path to the ‘Old Fort’ is of dirt and has very little slope. In dry weather, wheelchairs may access the site with some assistance, which is needed due to some tree roots and natural variations in the levelness of the trail.