Pictured above is a Google map for a new bike route along and around U.S. Highway 36 that will allow bikers an opportunity to see some of the historic and natural landmarks along the “Way of American Genius.” This route was developed and approved by the Missouri Highway 36 Coalition as a way to promote tourism in North Missouri.
1. Long Branch State Park – Macon
Picturesque Long Branch Lake offers some of the best bass fishing in northern Missouri and its swimming beach a is a favorite for families. More than 80 campsites make the park a perfect place for overnight stays. And the park’s native prairie offers peaceful hiking opportunities. Terrific interpretive center offers information about the lake’s creation by the Corps of Engineers plus its fish and wildlife.
2. Walt Disney’s Hometown Museum – Marceline
The Walt Disney Hometown Museum contains a unique collection of Disney family effects plus interpretive exhibits focusing on the Disney family, Walt’s life in Marceline, as well as friends and family who supported him in his creative adventures while growing up. This stop includes the chance to see Walt’ Dreaming Tree, plus Walt’s Barn. You can even sign your name on the planks of the barn as thousands of past visitors have done.
3. General John J. Pershing’s Boyhood Home - Laclede
Explore a piece of America’s military history at Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site and learn about the experiences that molded a Laclede boy into one of the nation’s legendary generals. Pershing and his family moved into the nine-room Gothic-style house in Laclede when he was six. Prairie Mound School, where Pershing taught prior to his admission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, is also on the site and includes a unique exhibit that allows visitors to pass through many of the same doorways Pershing passed through on his journeys from Missouri to Mexico and France.
4. Maxie: The World’s Largest Goose – Sumner
The small town of Sumner is “Wild Goose Capital Of The World,” and celebrates that fact with “Maxie,” described as the World’s Largest Canadian Goose. Maxie sits in a field in the local community park, a bit back from the road. The fiberglass goose is 40 ft. tall, has a wingspan of 61 ft., and weighs 4,000 pounds, at least according to our notes. In 1976, this gargantuan goose was sculpted by Kansas City artist David C. Jackson, flown in by helicopter, and dedicated during the annual Goose Festival by the reigning Miss Goose Pageant Queen.
5. Murals – Chillicothe
Experience Chillicothe’s history through these 17 larger-than-life scenes; they provide a unique way to transform the streetscape of a community through artistic renderings on bare walls. Chillicothe’s mural project came about as a joint effort among the City, the Rotary Foundation, and Chillicothe Development Corporation.