Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial

4.4
#39 of 85 in Nature in Missouri
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.
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Mastodon State Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
63 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Nice Place to Go Peaceful Would Go There On the Hiking Trail to Get Away to Think about Life or Future Plans to Clear Your Mind of Other Thing  more »
  • We went with three families with 10 kids ranging from 2 to 17. The museum and visitor center was nice - they have a full mastodon skeleton as well as many other bones, with lots of explanations. There...  more »
  • We stopped only to go to the museum and not to do any of the outside things. The museum needs some sprucing up, but the information is interesting! The guide is overly excited to show you around which...  more »
Google
  • Go for the 2 1/4 mile hike and wear shoes you don't mind getting dirty! The museum isn't very fascinating and the picnic/playground area isn't very extravagant but the main trail is very scenic all year around. There is also a small 1/4 mile paved trail near the playground that goes along the creek that I like to tack onto my main hike. This is my favorite state park within a 30 minute drive of here by far. I'm lucky to live so close to this gem and locals love it too as you will be able to tell from the loaded parking lot on nice days.
  • very neat park, i took my 4 year old nephew planning on visiting the museum. We ended up spending the day in the creek and at the playground. It seems to have something to offer all ages
  • One of my favorite, more natural, parks. Nice and peaceful. Beautiful scenery and a place for all little ones to play.
  • Minus the dog poo that keeps getting left on the walking trail we love this place. My children and I go here often we walk and sometimes do the bigger hike and have family gatherings here. Just wish people would always clean up after their dogs.
  • Live nearby. Walk the dog here regularly. Nice wooded ozark type trail with a picnic area and a walk next to a creek. Access it off outer road or seckman road. Will have to cross seckman road to access the limerick trail so be careful!!
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