By Debi Boughton
Resting near the top of Missouri, Kirksville shines as Missouri’s North Star. Autumn is the time of year when pumpkins and mums fill the Farmer’s Market. Kirksville welcomes hunters, fisherman, runners participating in the FLATS Trail Half Marathon, and competitors for the Scottish Highland Games.
The Scottish Highland Games is the place to be in Kirksville on Saturday, October 6th. From the tabor toss to the throwing of the Braemer stone and other amazing fests of strength, this unique event allows visitors to stroll through time to look back to the days in Scotland when men wore kilts and women wore plaid shawls.
The 8th Annual FLATS Trail Half Marathon is on Saturday, October 6th, at 8:30 a.m. This unique race is a run through the woods of Thousand Hills State Park and ends at West Winery/Jackson Stables on Rainbow Basin Trail. Runners return year after year to run the 13 mile trail. Organizer Dan Martin explains, “There aren’t many trail half marathons. People enjoy the beauty and peaceful views while also loving the challenging terrain. Last October, we welcomed runners from Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Wisconsin as well as runners from all over Missouri.”
The local Kirksville Brewers Guild makes a special beer just for the FLATS Trail Half Marathon. It is called FLATS Trail Pale Ale. Guild members serve the Trail Pale Ale to participants after they cross the finish line. Runners, volunteers and spectators enjoy a frosty mug.
One runner, Raymond Rolling, states, “I have run many races throughout my running career ranging from 5k to one hundred miles on the trails. This event is world class. The work that is put into maintaining the trails by the volunteers alone adds up into hundreds of hours! The park is beautiful with the lake as a focal point. There are so many things about this race that make it one to put it on your list of races to do. From the Race Directors who treat you like family to the volunteers that man the hard-to-get-to aid stations. I truly recommend this!”
In addition to these many wonderful events outdoor sports enthusiasts can enjoy fishing and hunting. From trout fishing at Spur Pond and muskie fishing at Hazel Creek Lake to catching bass and catfish at Thousand Hills State Park’s Forest Lake Kirksville is a anglers paradise. Hunters travel from all over the United States to enjoy hunting trophy class whitetail deer and turkey. Hunters have a choice to hunt on over 13,000 acres of Conservation Area and hundreds of acres of private land surrounding Kirksville.
For more information about other attractions and events in Kirksville go to visitkirksville.com