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Mastodon State Historic Site, Imperial
(4.5/5 based on 55+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The museum was small. I didn't hear about the movie from the person out the counter, I might have checked it out. I think $4 is a little high for what they have. The trail leading out from the museum ...  more »
  • On a beautiful fall day we headed to this park because neither of us had been there. After paying the$4.00/per person fee we watched a short movie about the area and exhibits we would be seeing. It wa...  more »
  • 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 
Google
  • We loved the trail we hiked, would have been fun on a mountain bike too. The museum was small but there was a short video followed by a presentation by a very knowledgeable curator. He was great with the children and they all seemed to enjoy it as well. We didn't check out any of the picnic areas but from what we could tell, this would be a great place for any outing!
  • Easy to find, quaint, nice trail with nice people there usually jogging or walking their dog. My kids love the playground and there's enough decently shaded open area to play ball or Frisbee or whatever. I used to go when I was a kid and my kids will probably take theirs.
  • Quite interesting park with a great little museum $4. It has a full sized Mastodon skeleton. We didn't get an opportunity to walk the trails.
  • Very nice park with large playground there is a nice wooded trail. The museum is nice but it's small not allot too look at.
  • Loved bringing my dog here and spending the day with friends. There are people there on nice days, but it never seems to be too crowded. Back along the path there was a huge open field with absolutely no one in it so I was able to play fetch with my dog for hours. Beautiful park, loved wading in the creek running through it.