Kirksville is an educational, medical, shopping and outdoor recreation center for northeastern Missouri. The town, population 17,000, is a popular destination for deer and turkey hunters and a stopping point for those interested in the outdoor recreation opportunities nearby. Kirksville is also a college town. It is home to Truman State University and the first school of osteopathic medicine, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation around Kirksville. Thousand Hills State Park, a 3,215-acre park, has petrogylphs, hiking and mountain biking trails and offers campgrounds and cabins. Forest Lake, in the park, is popular for boating, fishing, sailing and water skiing. Hazel Creek Lake in Kirksville is known for excellent muskie fishing.
Three conservation areas around Kirksville provide more outdoor opportunities. Sugar Creek Conservation Area is 2,600 acres of forest open for camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, deer and turkey hunting and target shooting. Big Creek is a grassland conservation area bordering Thousand Hills State Park. It offers hunting and fishing. Montgomery Woods has 300 acres of forest open for hunting and hiking.
Kirksville is located in northeastern Missouri, 90 miles north of Columbia and 160 miles northeast of Kansas City. It is accessible via U.S. Highway 63 and State highways 6 and 11. Kirksville has several national chain hotels and locally owned bed and breakfasts.