Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial

4.5
#34 of 62 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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62 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 4, 2017
    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 »
  • July 22, 2017
    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 »
  • February 22, 2017
    The last time I was here was about 35 years ago when I brought my daughter who was then 6. With the warm weather, and Presidents Day closing schools, I took my 2 grandchildren who are 10 and 6. It was...  more »
Google
  • April 14, 2017
    This is probably our new favorite place to hike! We did the Limestone Hill Trail. It was only about 1.5 miles and only had a short bit of up-hill - it was definitely a nice, easy hike! There aren't any look outs or any special views. But the walk is so simple and pleasant that it doesn't matter! There's also a playground and a shorter paved loop!
  • June 13, 2017
    Short little hike is great for my young children. The visitor center has a great display of Paleolithic animals and humans to which my 2 year old describes very well as, "WOW!".
  • June 25, 2017
    Very neat for us and kids. Family friendly and very educational. Nice hiking trails, no strollers
  • May 4, 2017
    Loved hiking here! The trail is a good length for a short afternoon hike. Bring bug spray! There's a couple of water spots that breed mosquitoes, so be prepared. Other than that, I had a lot of fun - I'll be back :)
  • June 30, 2017
    Beautiful park. Great trails of all kinds. Nice refreshing creek.Great place for a family outing.

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