Thursday, July 23, 2020

Visit Missouri-Fort Zumwalt Park

Missouri-Fort Zumwalt Park

We have several parks in our area, but my favorite is Fort Zumwalt Park.  This 48 acre park is both scenic and historic.  It has a wonderful 3.5 acre lake and lots of trails and paths to enjoy nature.

Newly Renovated

The lake named Lake Wetsel, after a board member that championed the lake, was completely dredged during 2019.  At that time several small bridges and a walking path were added.  This makes it a wonderful place to take a stroll or go for a more energetic walk.

Missouri-Fort Zumwalt Park fountain

Historic Features

Zumwalt home in O'Fallon

I love seeing the fort each time I go to the park.  It is a wonderful recreation of a log cabin from the late 1700's.  Here is a quote about the Zumwalt home from the O'Fallon city website.
"It’s hard to imagine the O’Fallon area as the leading edge of the American frontier. But in 1799, when Daniel Boone and his family settled just a few miles away, the area was a wilderness in which Native Americans hunted, fished and trapped game.
At about the same time that Daniel Boone arrived, Jacob Zumwalt and his extended family settled in the O’Fallon area circa 1798, building a large log home. A few years later, when the War of 1812 set off deadly guerilla raids with Native Americans ambushing and killing American settlers, local families fled to the shelter provided by the Zumwalt’s home, which is said to have been fortified with a stockade fence.  A spring, which is now Lake Whetsel, supplied water.
Zumwalt’s Fort, as the fortified house came to be called, was one of 35-plus “settler forts” that once stood in Missouri. Boone’s Fort at present-day Matson, Missouri, was the largest.
The reconstructed Zumwalt’s Fort opened in 2015 as a gift to the City from the O’Fallon Community Foundation. It is the only rebuilt War of 1812 settler fort in the state.
Interpretive signs at the site provide structural details and information about the people who lived here in the days when the O’Fallon area was part of the American frontier."

Another historic house in the park is the Heald house.  It is a large brick home built near the fort on a hill called "Stony Point" .  It was first built in 1884 and was renovated by the City of O'Fallon in 2001.  I love taking photos of the flowers around the house.

Heald house

flowers around Heald house
pink flowers photo by mbgphoto


Wildlife abounds in the park both in the woods surrounding the lake and in the lake itself.  I particularly like watching the colorful ducks in the lake.
mallard duck photo by mbgphoto
mallard duck photo by mbgphoto

Here is an Iris I photographed along the lake.

Other Activities at the Park

The park features many other attractions and special events.  Here are a few of the most popular.
  • Picnic Areas
  • Pavilion for Group Gatherings
  • Large Playground
  • 18 Hole Disc Golf Course- this scenic 18 hole course winds it way through the park.  The course is free for open play and scorecards are available near the first tee.
  • Celebration of Lights- each December the park hosts a annual celebration of lights.  This celebration features a drive-through display of seasonal lights.  It also has nights set aside for a walking tour and some nights there are carriage rides available.
  • Founders Day Celebration-The park hosts this celebration in May with live blue-grass music, hands on activities and heritage demonstrations.
  • The Park is the host for The St. Charles Model Railroad Club.

Photo Shoot

I love to do photo shoots with my granddaughters and the park is the perfect place to take their photos.  Here are a few from their recent visit.
photo by mbgphoto

photo by mbgphoto

photo by mbgphoto

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  1. Fort Zumwalt Park looks like a delightful and beautiful park to visit. I had no idea it was there or I would have visited when I lived in St. Louis. Will have to add it to places to go next time I am in the area. Thank you for this park tour illustrated so nicely with your lovely photographs.

    PS: Your granddaughters are growing up into beautiful young ladies.

  2. This looks like another place I will have to make an effort to see. Once our borders are open again, I will have a tour of this beautiful park along with some other sights to see either on our way here or on our way home again. Thanks for showing me a beautiful part of your world.

  3. What a wonderful park! Seeing the cabin recreation would be very interesting. Visiting Heard House would be awesome. I am always amazed by homes built in the 1800's that are still standing. Very cool! As always, I love all of your photos. Because we have been writing together for over 11 years, I have enjoyed watching your granddaughters grow up via your photos. I feel like I know them! I have to agree with Elf too, they are beautiful young ladies.

  4. I would love this park! The history, the beauty, but mostly the history - Walking through old structures and picturing generations gone by is intriguing. I find myself getting lost in thinking about what they were doing, what their lives were like. History is actually quite moving to me. Thanks for this. If I ever go to this area of the USA, I'll have to remember this park.

  5. Mary Beth, that is such a pretty little park. It has all of the things I like in a park, plus it's unique history. Thank you for the tour.

  6. You visit, and photograph, the loveliest locations. It must be wonderful to live near so many scenic and historic sites. I would love it there. Thanks for providing me with this virtual enjoyment. I would love to be walking around that lake with you and stopping to create photos of the beauty.

  7. You've done a lovely job of telling about and showing Missouri-Fort Zumwalt Park!


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