Thousand Hills State Park

This 3,215-acre park has numerous attractions, including a marina, beach, dining lodge, trails, cabins, camping, fishing, and Native American petroglyphs. Spend a day or a week!


Thousand Hills is located at 20431 State Highway 157, just south of Highway 6 on the northwest end of Kirksville.  For a map of the park itself, print a map or see more information as well as get travel directions at the Missouri State Parks Thousand Hills page.

A photograph of six people standing on a shoreline skipping rocks at sunset


About Forest Lake

The beautiful 573-acre lake and its 17 miles of shoreline offer many opportunities for water recreation. The lake is popular for canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing. It is well stocked with crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and walleye. Its blue water and sheltered shoreline make it an ideal location for enthusiastic anglers.

The City of Kirksville has set a maximum horsepower limit of 90 HP. Anything higher than that is permitted at idle speed only. The city also requires a boat permit to launch your boat on Forest Lake. These are sold at the marina, city hall, or online at

Thousand Hills Marina offers a variety of water recreation activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. We also rent bicycles, sell fishing supplies, firewood, picnic/BBQ necessities, live bait and other convenience items, as well as dock slips rentals.

Reservations are suggested. No reservation is 100% guaranteed due to unforeseen circumstances such as poor weather conditions.

 Private boats must purchase a city permit.

To reach the marina, call (660)202-8257 

Photograph of boats docked at the marina


Forest Lake, located in the middle of the park, contains:

Largemouth Bass (limit 6 per day)

Walleye (limit 4 per day)

Channel Catfish (limit 4 per day)

Crappie (limit 20 per day)

See more on how to obtain a Missouri Hunting or Fishing Permit.

A group of fishermen in a pontoon boat on the lake


The swimming beach is open seven days a week during the summer, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The beach is available for swimming at no charge. There are dressing rooms and showers.

No lifeguards are on duty at the swim beach.

A photograph of the beach at thousand hills state park, with visitors on the beach and in the water


Discover an adventure waiting for you at the park with four trails perfect for hiking.

Find trail maps and information here.

Photograph of a trail running through a forest in autumn

Native American Petroglyph Shelter

Rock formations containing historic Native American carvings can be found in a sheltered exhibit. Visitors can walk on a path along the shelter walls to read information about the petroglyphs and then match up their symbols on the rocks below.

More information is available on the Thousand Hills State Park website here.

Dining Lodge

A Meal With A View

An ice-cold beverage in your hand, warm plate of food on the table, and a delightfully fresh breeze wafting off the water– you have officially found paradise on Forest Lake. Open from February to November, Lakeside Grille is here to be your Kirksville culinary oasis through each season. From hand-crafted mixed drinks to freshly chopped salads, juicy bacon burgers to Mac & Cheese for the little ones, we have something for everyone in the family.

For more information, call the Thousand Hills Dining Lodge at (660)202-8257 

Photograph of the exterior of the dining lodge, showcasing some patio seating and its location on the shore of the lake


Thousand Hills Cabin’s are open from March to November. With fourteen total units you will have plenty of selection for your stay.  

For more information on the cabins, call ExplorUs at (660)202-8257 .


Thousand Hills State Park has 50 campsites available. There are 12 basic sites, 3 with 50 amp electric hook ups, and 35 with 30 amp electric hook ups. All sites are on a reservation system.

For more camping information, call 660-665-6995.

Please visit the Thousand Hills State Park website for more information.