Visitors Guide to the
Lewis and Clark
Boathouse and Nature Center
2 Bishop's Landing
1050 Riverside Drive
St. Charles, Missouri

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Missouri Historical Site Accessible Bike Trail Tour Bus Accommadtions Accessible Restrooms


Operated by the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, the new Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center (a certified site of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail) is the Discovery Expedition's permanent home replacing their old facility on 710 Riverside Drive. Located on the banks of the Missouri River at Bishop’s Landing and only a five minute walk from the downtown historic district, the site features hand-crafted replicas of boats used by the Corps of Discovery, exhibits relating to the Expedition and the Missouri River ecosystem, and a gift shop.

The Lewis and Clark Connection
Arrived Opposite of St. Charles at 12 oClock, this village is at the foot of a Hill from which it takes its real name Peeteite Coete [Petite Côte] or the little hill, it contains about 100 indefferent houses, and abot  450 Inhabetents principally frinch, those people appear pore and extremely kind …” William Clark made this entry when the Corps arrived at St. Charles on Wednesday, May 14, 1804.

Clark and the Corps waited for Lewis, who was in St. Louis attending to last minute details. Lewis arrived in St. Charles in the evening of Saturday, May 20, 1804 in the company of some local dignitaries from St. Louis. After attending Mass the next morning and making sure all preparations had been completed, the Corps of discovery departed St. Charles on the afternoon of Monday, May 21, 1804. Clark noted this event in his journals as he wrote "Set out at half passed three oClock under three Cheers from the gentlemen on the bank and proceeded on ... " The departure from St. Charles marked the setting out of the expedition with all its members and the last that they saw of a significant European settlement until they returned in September of 1806.

"at 4 P M we arived in Sight of St. Charles,  the party rejoiced at the Sight of this hospital village plyed thear ores with great dexterity and we Soon arived opposit the Town, this day being Sunday we observed a number of Gentlemen and ladies walking on the bank, we Saluted the Village by three rounds from our blunderbuts and the Small arms of the party, and landed near the lower part of the town.    we were met by great numbers of the inhabitants, we found them excessively polite." William Clark made this entry when the Corps arrived at St. Charles on Sunday, September 21, 1806. The Corps spent the night at St. Charles and two days later ended their journey when they arrived in St. Louis on September 23, 1806.

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.

The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles has put together a modern museum to interpret the Lewis and Clark's experience in St. Charles as well as the Corps of Discovery in general. The lower level of the Boat House is home to full size replicas of a keelboat and two pirogues with workspace and displays. The lower level has a flow through design, permitting the boats to be easily moved and preventing damage to the building from floodwaters. The boats are often on tour, making an annual journey retracing portions of the Lewis and Clark’s journey and attending special events. When the boats are not on tour, visitors will be able to get up close to these vessels as well as talk to informed volunteers about their use and construction.

The upper level features the contents of the old Lewis and Clark Museum, as well as dioramas (photo left) by museum artist Evangeline Groth that illustrate the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Native American tribes they encountered, examples of the flora and fauna Lewis and Clark encountered on their journey, and life in early 19th-century Saint Charles. A classroom accommodates class field trips, and tours and The Trading Post, the facility’s gift shop offers many historical books and unusual gift items. The Boat House is adjacent to Frontier Park which has picnic facilities and is the trail head for the Katy Trail, a 225 mile bike trail that starts in St. Charles and runs parallel to the Missouri River and the route that Lewis and Clark took.

Visiting the Lewis & Clark Boathouse & Nature Center
     Visiting Hours
          Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm
          Sunday: 12 pm - 5 pm
An admission is charged to visit the Lewis & Clark Boathouse & Nature Center. Group rates available.

Directions: From I-70 take exit 229 (Fifth Street North) into St. Charles. Turn right at the second stoplight (Boone’s Lick Road.) Shortly after crossing South Main Street, turn right into large parking lot. The Boat House and Nature Center is on the far side of the parking lot, next to the river.

GPS Coordinates
N  38  46.380
W 90  28.944

Learn more about the St. Charles area.
Official site of the Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center which features information on a wide variety of subjects and more detailed information on what the organization does and how to contact them.

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