(Photo courtesy: Missouri State Parks)

CAMPBELL, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — With so many natural wonders in Missouri, there’s never a lack of places to explore in the “Show Me State.” From the 1.5-billion-year-old granite rock formations at Elephant Rocks State Park to Grand Gulf State Park (a.k.a. the “Grand Canyon of Missouri”), the beauty of this Midwest state makes exploring fascinating and fun.

In fact, one state park in Missouri was just named, “one of the best natural wonders in Missouri.” More specifically, it’s what you’ll find hiding in the tiny park that gives it the large title.

Morris State Park was given the title by the website, “Only In Your State.” Their team of journalist all have one thing in common: A love of travel. According to the website, they search far and wide — seeking out the little known attractions and natural wonders of each of our 50 unique states, allowing you to discover and enjoy the best of the American outdoors.

(Photo courtesy: Missouri State Parks)

Not only is Morris State Park one of the state’s “best (and most incredible) natural wonders,” it also happens to be Missouri’s smallest state park. But don’t let its size fool you. In 2022, OnlyInYourState.com said claimed “it’s a hidden gem worth exploring.”

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You’ll find Morris State Park less than ten miles from the Arkansas state line, in the Southeast corner of the state. It’s located near the town of Campbell, in Dunklin County. The state park spans just 161 acres, and is named after Jim D. Morris, who donated the land to Missouri.

The location of Morris State Park in Southeast Missouri.

The state park’s defining feature just might be Crowley’s Ridge. The Missouri Department of Conservation describes Crowley’s Ridge as “a geological oddity that rises 200 feet above the Mississippi River’s flood plain, and consists of a strip of low hills ranging from a half-mile to five or more miles wide.”

The geological wonder, however, isn’t just confined to Morris State Park. It spans approximately 200 miles from Southern Missouri to Eastern Arkansas. You can view Crowley’s Ridge along Morris park’s hiking trail. Only a very short portion is accessible, so keep that in mind when visiting.

View from a hiking trail at the top of Crowley’s Ridge. (Photo courtesy: Google, Paul Furrer)

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Much of Morris State Park is in Crowley’s Ridge, which means it boasts some unique characteristics, including plants that are so rare they’re not found in any other part of Missouri. The state park also consists of 300 species of plants and more than 80 types of birds, including wood ducks, red-tailed hawks, and barred owls.

More information on Morris State Park can be found, HERE. If you’d like to learn more about Crowley’s Ridge, you’ll discover its rich history, and much more, HERE.