Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a traveler just passing through Missouri, the Bowling Green community offers a variety of interesting and compelling things to see and do. Among them are a chocolate factory, antique stores, an historic home and museum, fishing lakes, campground, corn maze, world-renowned smoked meats producer, and an Amish community featuring handcrafted woodworking and baked goods.
The Champ Clark House was residence of The Hon. Champ Clark, congressman from Missouri’s Ninth District who presided as Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1919. Now a National Historic Landmark and regional museum, the Clarks’ home is open to the public with collections that interpret not only the personal lives and political legacies of the Clark family, but the remarkable records and rich heritage of public service by elected office-holders from Pike County and Northeast Missouri. Visit www.champclark.org for more information.
Bowling Green is the County Seat of Pike County. The Courthouse, built in 1917, is located centrally on the town square on West Main Street. The courthouse building is constructed of Bedford stone and trimmed in Carthage marble. The interior retains much of the atmosphere of the period in which it was built. A statue of Champ Clark, Bowling Green's most famous son, is located at the south entrance.
The War Memorial, located on the Courthouse lawn, is the result of a community-wide effort to recognize county residents who served in the armed forces during World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Desert Storm Conflict. Approximately 1300 veteran's names are included on the stones with recognition of those missing, killed or wounded in action. The memorial was dedicated on July 4, 1992.
The Pike County Genealogical Society and Museum houses some of the history of Pike County, Missouri. The society offers a large collection of obituaries, funeral home records, old plat maps, marriages from 1818-1940, real estate and personal property tax books, school histories, military items, family histories, surname files that contain different items, probate files and census records on microfilm, beginning genealogy classes, and many more items. There is also a new collection of cemetery books by Alice Niles.
The 1883 old Pike County jail houses the museum. The former jail cells have been dedicated to the military and wars, Champ Clark, and 1 room school houses while the rest of the cells shows how jail life was - back then.
The Visitor Center Park features a walking path and small lake - a great place for travelers to take a short break, have a picnic, or walk their pets. This site will be the future location of the Bowling Green Visitors Center. The Visitor Center Park is located near the overpass of Hwy 61/161 on the south outer road.
The Bowling Green City Park is a 11.4 acre park features a walking path and reflection pool to complement the shelter house, picnic and playground areas. The park also includes an outdoor swimming pool, lighted baseball and soccer fields and basketball courts. The park is located on South Court Street, 4 blocks north of the junction of Business Hwy 61 or 4 blocks south of the town square. All park facilities are available for rent through City Hall by calling 573-324-5451.
The 15th Street Park features playground equipment with a rubberized surface, handicap-accessible swing, and a pavilion dedicated to the late Abbi Lucas.
Bowling Green's Cancer Memorial Park, located on the square, is an area dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives to cancer. The park floor is lined with bricks engraved with messages or names of loved ones remembered or honored. Benches, also engraved, are built into the wall caps of the cancer ribbon shaped gardens. Name plates for the living are hand-written and hung from posts in the flower gardens near the Jesus statue. Learn more at : www.cancermemorialpark.com
Bowling Green is home to its very own chocolate factory located at 810 Business Hwy 61 North. Bankhead Chocolates draws visitors near and far to taste test their luscious hand-dipped confections. The candy factory is family-owned with four generations helping to hand dip each piece of chocolate. Come and see their store, taste test the candy, browse gift selections, and enjoy lunch at their bistro. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
With over 60 years in the smoked meat business, Woods Smoked Meats "SWEET BETSY from PIKE" brand smoked meats has won over 500 state, national and international awards. This family-owned business is located at 1501 Business Hwy 54 West in Bowling Green. Visit their log cabin store where you can see and smell the wonderful smoked meats in their meat case and see first hand their quality barbecue sauces and spices. Visit www.woodssmokedmeats.com for more information.
Pike County was a stepping off place for the great migration west. Our cemeteries offer a wealth of information for those interested in genealogy of their families. Most of the cemeteries have been cataloged by the Pike County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Catalogs are available at the Bowling Green Public Library or contact the Pike County Genealogical Society.
The Bowling Green Public Library is located at 201 W. Locust Street. Call 573-324-5030 or visit www.bgmopubliclibrary.org for their hours of operation and services. They are a great resource for research on Bowling Green and the surrounding area.
Located just 45 minutes northwest of Bowling Green, Mark Twain Lake and Clarence Cannon Dam are operated by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Approximately 55,000 acres of land and water are available for public enjoyment of wildlife and other natural resources. Mark Twain Lake encompasses 18,600 acres, providing a variety of fishing opportunities for large and small mouth bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, bluegill and others. Approximately 45,000 acres of land are available for hunting. Species available for hunting include dove, quail, squirrel, deer, wild turkeys, rabbits and water fowl. Read about fishing and hunting at Mark Twain Lake
Fine antiques, collectibles, pottery, porcelain, glass, kitchenware, toys and more can be found in and around the local area. See listing of individual shops.
Beautiful churches of every major denomination offer weekly services. The friendly people of Bowling Green will welcome you. If you're not here on Sunday, enjoy the architecture and photo opportunities of their church buildings.
Cozy C RV Campground is nestled among the hills close to the Mississippi River . The campground is located between Bowling Green and Louisiana, MO at 16733 Highway 54. The 45 sites have full hook-ups consisting of electric, rural water and sewer connections. They have grass lots with gravel roadways. Groups will enjoy the meeting hall which is large enough to hold 100 people. For more information, call 573-324-3055 or visit www.cozyccampground.com.
Primitive camping and BBQ pits are available at the Bowling Green Reservoir. The campsites can be accessed from the Highway 61/161 overpass by going south on County Road 280 and 282. For more information, contact the City of Bowling Green Parks & Recreation Department at 573-324-2660 or refer to their website.
Walk-in and backpack primitive camping is also available at the Missouri Department of Conservation's Ranacker Conservation Area located 10 miles north of Bowling Green on Hwy 61 then west on Highway RA.
Bowling Green has three golf courses in the immediate vicinity. Vandalia Country Club is a 9-hole regulation length public golf course located on Hwy 54 between Bowling Green and Vandalia. Contact the Vandalia Country Club at (573) 594-6666. The Eagle's Bluff Golf Course is located two miles south of Clarksville at 16500 Hwy 79 S. This is a 9-hole public golf course. Contact the Eagle's Bluff Golf Course at 573-242-3309. The Pike County Country Club, which is a private club, is located between Bowling Green and Louisiana at 19538 Hwy 54.
The City of Bowling Green owns and maintains two lakes. The Jack Floyd Memorial Lake is a 40-acre that features a boat dock and fishing dock. The West Lake is a 45-acre lake that is suitable for canoeing. Primitive camping, BBQ pits and a hiking trail is available. A pavilion is available for outdoor gatherings. Both lakes are excellent fishing lakes stocked with bass, catfish and sunfish by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The Lakes can be accessed from the Highway 61/161 overpass by going south on County Road 280 and 282. For more information, contact the City of Bowling Green Parks & Recreation Department at 573-324-2660.
Ranaker Conservation Area, managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, provides both hunting and fishing under statewide regulations. Peno Creek runs through the area and is one of the higher quality streams in North Missouri with bass, catfish and sunfish. The shooting range has 25, 50, and 100 yard targets. Deer, dove, quail, rabbit, squirrel and turkey have good populations. The Conservation Area is located 10 miles north of Bowling Green on Highway 61, then west on Highway RA. For more information call MDC at 573-248-2530 or refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
Saint Louis University's Lay Center for Education and the Arts and the Henry Lay Sculpture Park is a 350-acre property located on Hwy UU between Bowling Green and Louisiana. The Sculpture Park comprises approximately 20 acres with a well-maintained path that takes guests on a 40-minute walk through a working Maple Grove, the McElwee Cemetery and most importantly a plethora of sculpture. Artists with pieces represented in the park are New York based Wendy Klemperer, Portland's Devin Laurence field, Beijing artist Bing Cheng and Brian Rust from Augusta, Georgia.
The grounds are a nature lover's dream with a five-mile walking trail that winds through a primarily oak-hickory forest with several open fields and two lakes. Throughout the trail, signage has been posted to help guests identify the seasonal flora and fauna. This trail is perfect for a science class field trip.
The Lay Center provides sleeping accommodations for up to 48 guests. The 12 bedrooms are equipped with dressers, reading lamps, coat racks and desks. It can be booked for receptions, retreats, or other events.
Park hours April - December are Thursday - Sunday 10 am - dusk. Closed January - March. Call 573-754-4726 or visit their website for more information.
A corn maze, pumpkin patch and other fun activities for the kids is open in the fall during September and October at Prairie's Edge Garden Center. They are located on the outer road of Highway 61 South of Bowling Green. They host school groups and individual tours. Call 573-324-5757 for more information or visit their Facebook page.