Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Local Adventure: Elephant Rocks State Park, MO

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel. I can't help but marvel at the amazing diversity on this planet; rocks, trees, flowers. Flat prairie land, tall mountains, sandy beaches. It's all incredible.

I also really, really, love my home state of Missouri. Missouri is where I was born and raised and I'm fairly certain I will live here until the day I die. And I'm perfectly fine with that. I love visiting new places, but I really value having a home to return to when it's over.

So every now and then I'm going to highlight some fun places to visit here in MO (and probably Southern IL, too.) Most of these places are no more than 2 hours from St. Louis. If you're in the area, I hope they inspire you to check them out. If you aren't in the area, I hope these posts encourage you to explore something cool where you live!

Elephant Rocks State Park is so named because of the massive pink granite boulders that sit clumped together in this state park. This area is well known for its granite and a nearby quarry stays busy supplying the state with granite for building projects.

View from the top
What you need to know

The park itself is peaceful and can be explored in just a couple of hours. For those with limited mobility, you can walk the 1 mile trail around the boulders. For those who like to climb, you're free to climb the boulders and explore to your heart's content.

Tight squeeze

Even big kids like ERSP!

Take plenty of water and sun protection because there's no cover on the rocks and it gets HOT up there!

If you're wondering about safety, I'd say it's pretty safe for kids who are sure-footed and listen well. Everything is pretty stable, no loose gravel or anything like that. If you decide to climb you'll need to be in decent shape. It's a great workout!

 Shaded picnic sites, flush toilets, and a playground can all be found at the park. There's not much to be found in the immediate area surrounding the park so a lunch and/or snacks are a great idea.

While the park can easily be enjoyed in a few hours, you can still make a day trip out of visiting this area! Johnston's Shut-Ins State Park is only 20 minutes away. Consider visiting ERSP first and then cooling off with a dip at Johnston's Shut-ins.

Additional Resources:

Learn about MO geology here, which highlights Elephant Rocks. (Secular viewpoint, but some interesting scientific and historic info throughout.)