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Park Trails

at Mastodon State Historic Site

Limestone Hill Trail

  • Hiking

Length: 1.75 Miles View map

Before Limestone Hill Trail splits off to the right from Spring Branch Trail, you will notice the Bollefer Springhouse on the left. Use caution when crossing Seckman Road; vehicles are often fast and frequent. Limestone Hill Trail is a steep and rugged hike with challenging slopes and rough terrain leading you along the base of a limestone bluff, up a hill through an oak hickory and cedar forest and across the hilltop with scenic views of Seckman Valley. There are several benches and overlooks along the trail. You will notice a variety of trees such as honey locust, sugar maple, dogwood, white oak, hackberry and cedars. Among the deep ravines and rough, protruding boulders, wildflowers such as columbine and wild hydrangea can be found growing in the midst of the woody vines and trumpet creepers. Small yellow and red funnel-shaped mushrooms may also be spotted poking through the dark green mosses on the limestone boulders. 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
1.75 Miles 1 hour, 45 minutes Loop Green

Picnic area off Seckman Road

Spring Branch Trail

  • Accessible
  • Hiking

Length: .80 Mile View map

Sharing a trailhead with Limestone Hill Trail, this trail offers a leisure hike through a portion of the Rock Creek bottomland. The packed gravel surface is manageable for wheelchairs and strollers to follow a small stream flowing from the Bollefer Spring past remains of the Bollefer springhouse, built in 1837. This farming family stored perishables such as milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables before refrigeration was invented.

Looping through a young forest of hackberry and box elder trees, the trail winds through sycamores and cottonwoods along Rock Creek, a popular place for wading during the summer. The creek also hosts a variety of aquatic wildlife. Continue through the box elder trees returning to the trailhead and picnic area.

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.80 Mile 25 minutes Loop Yellow

Picnic area off Seckman Road

The Wildflower Trail

  • Hiking

Length: .40 Mile View map

This trail guides visitors down a series of stairs to the Kimmswick Bone Bed, where scientists first discovered evidence that American mastodons coexisted with humans 12,000 years ago. The trail passes the Callison Memorial Bird Sanctuary, a wildflower area, crosses an old limestone quarry, and goes down a limestone bluff and talus slope to the bone bed. At the bone bed, you will find an interpretive kiosk with information about the estimated three acres of Pleistocene deposits. At the end of the ice age, this area’s mineral springs and swampland was home to the American mastodon, Harlan’s ground sloth, Jefferson’s ground sloth, long nosed peccary, and stag moose. No excavations currently are going on. The remnants of the bone bed site remain safely buried for future generations.

Past the bone bed, the trail continues to a small foot bridge over a spring that actively flows after heavy rain. Uphill through a dense oak forest to the limestone bluff, the loop intersects to lead visitors back to the museum or to Callison Memorial Bird Sanctuary.

New Mobile Tour System

Through the OnCell Mobile Tour System, Missouri State Parks is piloting the use of hand-held mobile devices to provide audio tours. These mobile tours will offer visitors another avenue to learn about the cultural and natural aspects of each site through historical images, written text and audio commentary by park staff. The full tour can be accessed through the internet, the OnCell app, or by scanning the QR Code on each tour stop sign.  If you do not own a smart phone, the tour can still be accessed by calling 573-754-7004 . Once the number is called, the audio portion of the tour will play.

Download the Oncell app for your smart phone here.

Information about this trail can be accessed at the link below.

http://myoncell.mobi/stops.php?acct_num=15737547004&stop=1

 

Length Estimated Hiking Time Type Blazes Trailhead
.40 Mile 15 minutes Loop Blue

By the museum parking lot