Place

Harley Park Overlook

A road leads into a grassy park with shelters.
Harley Park, in Boonville, MO.

Robert Stinnett from Boonville, MO, wikimedia commons

Quick Facts

Grill, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Playground, Restroom

A map of Passport and Places to Go locations for National Historic Trails.

The Harley Park Overlook provides a panoramic vista of several sites important to the Santa Fe Trail. The Old Franklin townsite, which was the original Eastern terminus of the Santa Fe Trail, can be viewed to the North. In debt and desperate for a way out, William Becknell set out on his journey to Santa Fe in 1821 from Old Franklin. In 1822 he returned with a profit, proving the trail’s value and spurring more commercial trade journeys.  

To the East, you can view Boonville, the town whose name emerged after Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone settled and began operating a salt works called Boone’s Lick nearby. An existing Native American trace which was cut, widened, and renamed Boone’s Lick Road connected the Boonville area to Eastern Missouri, making it a booming spot for trade and Westward emigration. 

To the West, you can see Arrow Rock Bluff which served as a landmark on the Missouri River for travelers, explorers, and Native Americans who also used its flint to manufacture tools and weapons. Travelers on the Santa Fe Trail would cross the Missouri River at the Arrow Rock ferry landing just below the bluff. The “Big Spring” below the bluff was a major source of fresh water for travelers who would fill their stores before heading West on the trail. 

Site Information

Available Facilities/Exhibits: The Harley Park Overlook is in public park with grassy fields and mature trees. From the overlook, you can see a panoramic vista of the Missouri River. To the North, you can see farmland and the place that was the Old Franklin townsite. To the East you can see Boonslick Bridge over the Missouri River and Boonville. To the West, you can see the River and, in the distance, Arrow Rock Bluff. 

Safety Considerations

More site information

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Santa Fe National Historic Trail

Last updated: October 22, 2020