I've been to Columbia, Missouri maybe a million times in my life. Truth is I lived there for a period of time. But, I never knew there were epic bluffs and a creek in a park literally 5 minutes from the city until now.

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I have to give credit to Only In Your State for bringing Capen Park to my attention. I had no idea that you could hike country like this where you have huge bluffs overlooking a creek and a serene bridge in the middle of it all. A drone test from a few years ago captured some of the unique geography there.

The City of Columbia, Missouri has more details on what you can do in Capen Park and the list is long. High on the list is rock climbing for those who are pros that can safely do it.

Mountain Project shows there are 38 posted climbing routes at Capen Park near Columbia. They vary in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.11b. If you're a climber, you understand those numbers mean you don't do these routes unless you really know what you're doing.

If you look at Capen Park on a map, you'll see it's actually in the southern part of the city of Columbia and 5 minutes from downtown. There is quite literally a hotel that is near the entrance to the park. It's that close to the heart of the busy part of Columbia, but looks like a completely separate world of creeks and bluffs.

I prefer to respect gravity so I'll pass on the climbing. But, the hiking trail across that bridge looks like it's more than worth the trip.

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