In 1890 the Krug family, a family of St. Joseph donated land to the City of St. Joseph for park development. Originally only a portion of the land that is occupied today was given, but over time a total of 162 acres was acquired. The beginning plans were drawn up before the depression so many things were left undone. But still today the Krug Family legend lives on as the property serves as the largest park in St. Joseph with many attractions of its own.
Krug Park is located on the North Side of the St. Joseph Parkway System which is 26 miles long. The Parkway system is approximately 1500 acres of land that travels throughout St. Joseph consisting of 48 parks and other facilities. Krug Park is one of the largest still attracting daily visitors. It has many unique features including a pond, live animals, castle, children’s play area, amphitheaterand much more. The park also includes two tunnels that you can drive thru.
Daily visitors go to Krug Park to feed the ducks and fish that sit at the entrance of the park. Years ago paddle boats were available for rides around the pond. Today the pond serves more for viewing purposes, but some events do take place throughout the year such as the city’s largest fishing contest.
The “castle” is a building that sits to the left of the main entrance. The large stone and brick structure was originally built in 1922 for the purpose of becoming a restaurant but that never happened. Today it is open to the public in which lots of people use for birthday parties and family reunions. The children’s play area sits directly behind the castle and includes swings, slides, merry go round and teeter totters.
Years ago the park also included a zoo typesetting, housing many animals for public viewing, including bears, llamas and much more. Over time it became too hard for the parks department to service and house these animals, also for protection of its visitors they did away with this feature. Today the Native Animal Exhibit is housed at the park, this exhibit includes animals that were born and lived in the Missouri area. Living at the park today are Bison, Long Horned Cattle, White Tailed Deer and Donkey’s. These animals are available for the public to view, there is no staff on site, but they are caged and taken care of daily.
The amphitheater at the park was originally built for concerts and entertainment purposes, including a large stage and theater style seating. Today it is used for the same purpose, but is also available for public use and rental. Many wedding ceremonies have taken place in this area as well as fundraisers. This area also includes grass areas and flower gardens.
Krug Park is also known as Holiday Park beginning the week following Thanksgiving through January 1 of each year. The park transforms from its regular look to a lighted palace. From top to bottom lights are hung and exhibits are moved in, it is a holiday lover’s dream. Admission is free to drive through the park. The St. Joseph Optimist Club accepts donations for up keep of exhibits and new additions. Each year during this time the parks sees more than 100,000 visitors.
A new addition to the park is the Mountain Bike Trails. It is a five-plus trail system that is hard-packed and single-tracked winding over hills in the northwestern portion of the park. There are some steep portions but is ideal for riders of all levels. It is a great afternoon getaway right here in Northwest Missouri for those interested in Mountain Biking.
As you can tell, Krug Park is a vacation within itself. Whether you feel like taking a nice walk thru the park, bike the trails, taking your children to feed the fish and ducks, or just a drive thru to honk your horn as driving thru the tunnels under the castle, there is something that everyone will love. The beautiful view and atmosphere is absolutely breathtaking.