Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial
Categories: State Parks, Nature & Parks
Mastodon State Historic Site is a publicly owned, 431acre archaeological and paleontological site with recreational features in Imperial, Missouri, maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, preserving the Kimmswick Bone Bed. Bones of mastodons and other now-extinct animals were first found here in the early 19th century. The area gained fame as one of the most extensive Pleistocene ice age deposits in the country and attracted scientific interest worldwide.The site was purchased by the state in 1976 following an effort to preserve it from destruction with the construction of Interstate 55. Archaeological history was made at the site in 1979 when scientists excavated a stone spear point made by hunters of the Clovis culture (14,000–10,000 years ago) in direct association with mastodon bones. This was the first solid evidence of the coexistence of people and these giant prehistoric beasts. The Kimmswick Bone Bed was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.Activities and amenitiesA museum tells the natural and cultural story of the oldest American Indian site one can visit in the state's park system. A full-size replica of a mastodon skeleton highlights the exhibits. A picnic area, hiking trails, and a special-use campground offer chances to explore the land where the lives of Native Americans and mastodons once intertwined.Arrange to visit Mastodon State Historic Site and other attractions in Imperial using our Imperial vacation generator.
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This is a great place to bring children of all ages and for adults too. It is clean and well maintained and shows a wonderful display of our past
This is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Educational and fun at the same time! The displays are great and if you have some time to explore the hiking trails, you won't be disappointed!
I took my son and one of his friends to this attraction for the day. They found the museum to be somewhat interesting but they had a blast hiking and playing in the creek. We spent hours searching for... read more »
Fun for the whole family. Located off of outer road, the museum has a nice display, frequent events, and a movie with some good educational value. A short walk from here takes you to the bone bed where you can learn even more about the park and Mastodon history. Visitors can use a newly constructed trail to walk to the lower park area, or drive around to the Seckman road entrance to visit the lower park. At the lower park you'll find a large cut field to play in as well as water fountains, a play ground, benches, grills, restrooms, and a pavilion to cool off under. You'll also have easy access to both trails from here. Spring Branch trail is under half a mile and circles the lower area where there is an opportunity to play in and around the creek. Limestone Hill trail is a more challenging 2.5 mile trail and includes narrow paths, some difficult terrain, and steep hills. A couple of geocaches are hidden throughout the area. There are several Pokestops and two gyms for those interested in this now infamous game. Another area of the park is open for reservations for groups such as scouts for campouts. 4/5 because the trails are well worn and usually in need of maintenance.
This is such an amazing park and the museum is really interesting for all ages. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. On our last visit my children were given literal hours of instruction from the park ranger there. It was such a fun and educational experience.
Mastodon is a nice and quiet get away that is close to home. Offering gravel trails, a pavilion, creek access, and a playground, you'll find plenty to do. There are even a few PokeStops and a PokeGym. Across the street there are tougher and steeper trails but with beautiful views.
First time visiting. I drove a bus full of school kids there and they all seemed to love it. The tour was wonderful! Bought my son a sloth T-Shirt that he loves there.
Hiked "the mountain" (as my 10-year-old likes to call it) and we made our way over to the main building. We eventually weaved our way down to the dig site near Seckman Rd. Got several miles of hiking in; lots of ups and downs. Nice trails; well maintained. :)
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