In 2001, Western Rivers Conservancy protected the place where two great U.S. rivers meet: the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The confluence is both historically and geologically significant for the Country, being the site where America's two greatest rivers meet.
This is the place from which the Lewis & Clark Expedition left in 1804 to explore the West and to which they returned in 1806. The 1,067-acre property also contains significant habitat for waterfowl migrating along the Mississippi flyway. Western Rivers Conservancy transferred 552 acres located right at the point to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the remaining 515 acres to the St. Louis Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District.
The entire property is now managed as a state park, which is a great benefit to the St. Louis population center located just minutes to the south. The Danforth Foundation provided a critical grant and loan to fund the purchase.
Photo credits: Missouri State Parks
The lands at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are owned by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and managed as a State Park, the Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones-Confluence State Park. Situated on the west bank of the Mississippi and the north bank of the Missouri, it provides a nice open area on the outskirts of one of America’s largest urban areas, St. Louis, Missouri.
Given its geographical and historic significance, the site lends itself very well to a day trip for hiking, bird watching or sight-seeing. From an informational kiosk, hikers can walk down to the actual confluence on an easy trail leading to some more interpretative monuments on the banks of the two rivers.
Because much of the property is low lying and wet a good part of the year, it provides excellent habitat for migrating and breeding waterfowl. Although not open to hunting, it does provide excellent bird watching opportunities, particularly during the spring and fall migrations.
Jones-Confluence State Park is located east of West Alton, Missouri. About three miles from the Highway 67 turn off you will reach the park headquarters. You can stop there and get information about the park; otherwise, turn right and proceed down the gravel road through a few miles of farm fields until you get to the park entrance, which is marked by a prominent sign.
You will eventually get to the parking lot and information kiosk at the end of Riverlands Way and from there walk over to the confluence
The property is managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks. For more information, call 636-899-1135 or visit the Jones-Confluence State Park web site.