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Sinkholes in Washington County, MO | Missouri Sinkholes

Washington County, MO Sinkhole Map

Sinkhole Count: 21

Washington County, MO FAQs

History of Washington County, MO

  • was officially established on August 21, 1813
  • one of the original five counties created when Missouri was still part of the Missouri Territory
  • The county was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  • The area that is now Washington County was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware. European settlement began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with French fur traders and American settlers moving into the region.
  • The county played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States, as it was located along important trails, including the Old Wire Road and the Southwest Trail. It also saw its share of conflicts during the American Civil War, with skirmishes and battles taking place within its borders.

Notable Landmarks in Washington County, MO

  • Washington State Park: This state park, located near the town of De Soto, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s history and natural beauty. The park is home to the historic Moses Austin House, which was the residence of the founder of the American lead industry and the father of Stephen F. Austin, known as the “Father of Texas.”
  • Elephant Rocks State Park: While part of the park extends into neighboring Iron County, Elephant Rocks State Park is a notable landmark in Washington County. The park features massive granite boulders shaped like elephants, providing a unique geological and recreational experience for visitors.
  • Missouri Mines State Historic Site: This historic site, located near the town of Park Hills, preserves the history of the lead mining industry in the region. It includes exhibits, mining equipment, and a visitor center, offering insights into the importance of mining to the area’s development.
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park: While primarily located in neighboring Reynolds County, a portion of this popular state park extends into Washington County. The park is known for its unique geological formations, including natural swimming pools and rock formations formed by the East Fork of the Black River.
  • Caledonia Historic District: The small town of Caledonia in Washington County has several historic buildings and structures that reflect the area’s history and architectural heritage.
  • Iron County Courthouse: The historic courthouse, located in Ironton, Iron County, served as the courthouse for Washington County until 1857 when Iron County was established. It remains a notable landmark in the region.

Here are some popular recreational activities available in Washington County:

  • Hiking and Nature Trails: Washington County is home to several state parks and conservation areas that offer hiking trails with diverse landscapes, including forests, hills, and rock formations. Visitors can explore the region’s natural beauty and wildlife while enjoying outdoor exercise.
  • Rock Climbing and Bouldering: Elephant Rocks State Park, known for its massive granite boulders, provides an excellent opportunity for rock climbing and bouldering enthusiasts. Climbers of all skill levels can enjoy scaling these unique rock formations.
  • Swimming and Water Activities: Some parks in Washington County offer swimming areas, such as Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park. Visitors can cool off and enjoy recreational swimming in natural pools formed by the East Fork of the Black River.
  • Fishing: The rivers and streams in Washington County provide opportunities for fishing. Anglers can try their luck catching various fish species, including bass, catfish, and panfish.
  • Camping: Many state parks and conservation areas in the county have designated camping sites where visitors can enjoy a night under the stars and experience the great outdoors.
  • Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing: Washington County’s natural areas attract various bird species and wildlife. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy observing the diverse birdlife and animals in their natural habitats.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Some rivers and waterways in the county are suitable for canoeing and kayaking. Paddlers can navigate through scenic landscapes and enjoy a peaceful experience on the water.
  • Geocaching: Geocaching enthusiasts can explore various geocaches hidden throughout the county. Geocaching is a fun outdoor activity that involves using GPS coordinates to find hidden containers.
  • Photography: The picturesque landscapes and unique geological formations in Washington County offer excellent opportunities for photography. Capture the beauty of the region’s parks and natural areas through your lens.
  • Historic Sites and Tours: History enthusiasts can explore historic sites such as the Moses Austin House in Washington State Park and other historical landmarks in the county. Guided tours and interpretive programs may be available to provide insights into the area’s history.

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