By Jeff Fox
There are no state parks near Eastern Jackson County, but state officials are looking for public comment on several that are within an easy drive:
• Weston Bend State Park, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the paved trail day use area. The park is near Weston, Mo. Take Interstate 29 north and go past Platte City. Take the Tracy exit and go west. Go about a quarter of a mile and pick up Missouri 273 headed west, then go south on Missouri 45 to the park entrance.
• Lewis and Clark State Park, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the open shelter. The park is a few miles north of Weston Bend State Park, not far from Atchison, Kan. Take I-29 north, past Platte City, turning off at the Tracy exit and going west. Take 273, which goes west and then angles to the north as it passes the large KCP&L plant and the Snow Creek ski resort. The park is on the left.
• The Battle of Lexington State Historic Site, on Delaware Street near downtown Lexington, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in the visitors center. Topics include future projects and a planned living history event. Lexington was the site of a three-day Civil War battle in 1861.
• Confederate Memorial State Historic Site in Higginsville, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in the chapel.
• Users of the Katy Trail, which also is a state park, can have their say from 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the trail depot in Hartsburg. It’s quite a drive, as Hartsburg is about halfway between Columbia and Jefferson City. Take Interstate 70 to Columbia, then U.S. 63 south toward Jefferson City and look for the Hartsburg exit. The 238-mile trail runs from Clinton, Mo., east past St. Charles. Work also is under way to extend the trail generally to the north, from Windsor, toward the Kansas City area. This meeting will mainly focus on the section of trail from Portland west to Boonville.
Missouri Day, the third Wednesday of October, is coming up Oct. 16, and the DNR is offering a fall colors tour on the Katy Trail – via tram. It’s a two-hour trip between Rocheport and McBain. That’s near the Missouri River, and it includes the part of the trail at the foot of the tall cliffs you see when crossing the river on I-70 west of Columbia. The tours are free, though the suggested donation is $5 for adults and $3 for those 12 and younger. Tours are at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Call 573-449-7422 to make reservations; the deadline is Friday.