Visitors Guide to the
Tower Rock Conservation Area
County Road 460, off State Road A
Perry County, Missouri

Gravel Parking Picnic Facilities Missouri Historic Site Hiking Trail Scenic View Wildlife Viewing


Tower Rock, also known as Grand Tower, is a small landmark limestone island carved by the Mississippi River. The earliest European mention of this island is by French explorer Jacques Marquette who passed by the formation in 1673. Tower Rock Conservation Area comprises about 25 acre of upland forest with stands of oak-pine and oak-hickory-beech. The mainland offers picnic facilities and a 1/4 mile hiking trail to a viewing platform that offers a scenic view of Tower Rock. The island itself is accessible if the river is particularly low, otherwise it is only accessible by boat, but this can be dangerous due to the whirlpools south of the island. Tower Rock is a designated National Historic Site.

  The Lewis and Clark Connection
On November 25, 1803 Lewis and Clark “Arrived at the Grand Tower a little before sunset, passed above it and came too on the Lard. shore for the night.” The next day Lewis described Tower Rock made of “limestone & the same quality of the clifts heretofore described” and that there were “strong courants thus meeting each other form an immence and dangerous whirlpool which no boat dare approach in that state of the water…”
Visit our special Lewis and Clark Section to learn more about the Corps of Discovery’s experience during their stay in the Middle Mississippi River Valley.’s special coverage includes information on all of the region’s sites and events as well as supplemental articles relating to the expedition’s experience during the winter of 1803-04.

Bird Watching
Tower Rock Conservation Area is listed on the National Audubon Society's Great River Birding Trail. This is a good site to observe forest birds and bald eagles in winter. The Missouri Audubon Society maintains a checklist for birds that can be seen in this area.

  Visiting the Tower Rock Conservation Area
     6 am - 10 pm
There is no charge to visit the Tower Rock Conservation Area.
Directions: Take State Highway A east from Altenburg to County Road 460 (which is a gravel road). Follow County Road 460 to Tower Rock Conservation Area.
  GPS Coordinates
37° 38.020'
W 89° 31.087'
  Learn more about the Perry County area.  
  Missouri Department of Conservation
The official
Tower Rock Conservation Area maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
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