Trip Planner:   USA  /  Missouri  /  Imperial  /  Nature  /  Mastodon State Historic Site

Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial

4.5
#31 of 61 in Nature in Missouri
State Park Nature / Park
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.
Source
Create an itinerary including Mastodon State Historic Site
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
62 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • 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 »
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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!".
  • Very neat for us and kids. Family friendly and very educational. Nice hiking trails, no strollers
  • 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 :)
  • Beautiful park. Great trails of all kinds. Nice refreshing creek.Great place for a family outing.

Plan your trip to Imperial

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Imperial

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Missouri by other users

3 days in Springfield BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Chicago & Missouri BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Saint Louis BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Cassville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Kansas City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Cassville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Branson & West Monroe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Missouri & Paducah BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Boonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Midwest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Saint Louis BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans