Boathenge called the mid-Missouri version of Stonehenge
COLUMBIA - They are fiberglass rather than stone, and they are not arranged to perfectly align with the solstice, but a group of boats sticking out of the ground near the Katy Trail remind some people of Stonehenge. Thus the name Boathenge.
“Boathenge is a very serene spot close to Cooper's Landing,” hiker Armando Cantu said. “It's an odd open space that is really unlike anything I've ever seen.”
No one seems to know how the boats got there. Some say they suddenly appeared after a flood. Most talks about the site is speculation.
Boathenge is a short walk or bike trip away along the Katy Trail. Although the trail stretches for 273 miles across Missouri (from Clinton to Machens), there’s no need to go far to see this spectacle. Boathenge is about thirty minutes southwest of Columbia on the way to Big Tree.
The Katy Trail (originally the MKT rail line) partially follows the Lewis and Clark expedition up the Missouri River. Since Coopers Landing sits on the river, canoeing to Boathenge is possible. Horseback riding, or cross county skiing are seasonal options.
Cyclist Matt Peek said Boathenge is certainly an unusual concept.
“It made me think of boaters from the past, what they did during their time on the water, and who's next to put their boat in the field," he said. "I guess it's more or less a time capsule of some sort.”
The site gives people an excuse to explore the trail, known as one of Missouri’s finer gems.
Cantu said the place seems timeless.
“The boats aren't going anywhere,” Cantu said. “It's a pretty unique spot to walk through if anyone is ever down there.”
Winter approaches, but Boathenge will still be accessible. The Katy Trail is open year-round. Leafless trees will make siteseeing easier as well; the river, the bluffs, and the countryside won’t be as hidden to the naked eye.