About Arrow Rock

The entire village of Arrow Rock is a National Historic Landmark because it was a jumping-off point for settlers heading down the Santa Fe Trail. It was also the home of acclaimed American painter George Caleb Bingham, and Dr. John Sappington, whose revolutionized the treatment of malaria through the use of quinine.

Among the attractions you’ll find in Arrow Rock are:

  • DSCN1215smThe Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, a 400-seat professional theatre that attracts top talent from all across the U.S. for a season that run from June through December.
  • The Arrow Rock State Historic Site, which includes a state-of-the-art visitor center/museum, camping facilities, hiking trails and attractions that include the J. Huston Tavern, the historic courthouse building and the home of George Caleb Bingham.
  • The Friends of Arrow Rock‘s properties and tours. This historic preservation and history education organization offers guided tours of the village from May through October. Its museum shop on the boardwalk (which houses the Christopher Collection of early firearms), and the Sappington Medical Museum and Black History Museum are open daily throughout the year.
  • Fun, family-friendly events including the annual Easter Parade and Egg Hunt, 4th of July Impromptu Parade, Ice Cream Freeze-Off on the Saturday before Labor Day, and the Heritage Festival on the 2nd weekend of October. You’ll find a complete list of upcoming events here.
  • Charming shops, fantastic restaurants and abundant natural and architectural beauty.

Even on a quiet day when there doesn’t seem to be much going on in Arrow Rock, you can fill your hours with interesting activities.

  1. Visit historic buildings. The Friends of Arrow Rock offers guided tram tours of some of the village’s most historic buildings every day during the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall. But if you miss the tram, ask to take a Preservation Tour. The Preservation Tour is a walking tour led by Friends of Arrow Rock Facilities Manager Marty Selby, who will show you some of the organization’s current and recent restoration projects.
  2. Walk the trail to the river. The Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery starts at the north end of Second Street and winds through woods and wetlands for about a mile to the Missouri River. You’ll enjoy the beautiful, unspoiled scenery and are likely to spot deer, eagles and other wildlife along the way. Informative signs along the way give you more information about the history of the region. If you’d prefer a shorter route to the same destination, take the Arrow Rock River Landing Trail that begins near Van Buren and First Street and connects with the Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery.
  3. Visit a historic cemetery. The Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site about 5 miles west of Arrow Rock (see the “driving tour” map in the Arrow Rock brochure for directions) is the final resting place for many of Arrow Rock’s most influential 19th century citizens, including two Missouri governors. The nearby Sappington Negro Cemetery is a far more modest cemetery where many former slaves and their descendants were buried.
  4. Explore the Arrow Rock State Historic Site Visitors Center Museum. With displays the trace Arrow Rock’s history from Native American settlements to the 20th century, the museum is a great place to hear the whole story of Arrow Rock. Ask to view the fascinating 20-minute film about Arrow Rock while you’re there. The museum is located on Van Buren Street near the corner of Fourth. Just follow the wooden walkway. Hours vary by season. See the sign posted at the entrance.
  5. Attend a church service. The Arrow Rock Federated Church holds its Sunday morning worship service at 9:30 a.m. Visitors are always warmly welcomed.
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