Riverview Park is 465
acres of forested land located on the limestone bluffs of north Hannibal
and offers scenic views of the Mississippi River. The park is the
brainchild of Wilson Boyd Pettibone, a lumber magnate and philanthropist.
Pettibone began buying land for a park in the early years of the twentieth
century, envisioning a time when the park overlooking the river would
offer a peaceful retreat for the growing community of Hannibal.
Pettibone acquired 200
acres and then brought in Ossian Cole Simonds, a highly regarded landscape
gardener whose work at Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery in the 1880s won him
international renown. Simonds designed a system of winding carriage paths
that took visitors through scenic vantage points, from a central bluff
overlooking the Mississippi to hollows planted with oaks, maples, and
Riverview Park opened
in 1909 and was deeded to the city with the stipulation that the park was to
be used solely as a “free city public park for the benefit and enjoyment
of the inhabitants.” In 1920 Simonds wrote of the park “The main purpose
of a park is to preserve, restore, develop, and make accessible natural
scenery.” Over the next two decades Pettibone added additional acreage to
the park. In 2005 Riverview Park was placed on the National Register for
are memorial statues to Clemens and Pettibone located on the property.
Amenities include shelters, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms, and
paved and natural trails. Simonds’s trees have matured into pockets of
forest that provide a brilliant display of fall foliage and the park offers
excellent views overlooking the Mississippi River.
There is no charge to visit Riverview
Park is located north of downtown Hannibal. Take Mark Twain Avenue (US-61)
out of downtown Avenue. This will turn into Harrison Hill after the
US-61/I-72 interchange. Riverview Park is located approximately 1/2 mile
after the interchange.
more about the Hannibal
Official site of Hannibal Parks and Recreation.