State park and historic site day-use areas, lodging, campgrounds, boat ramps and trails continue to operate under normal off-season hours. Missouri State Parks has implemented a number of measures designed to maintain required social distancing and protect visitors, volunteers and staff, including the closure of visitor centers, nature centers, offices and museums. The latest information from Missouri State Parks on COVID-19 can be found here. A full list of temporary closures can be found here.
The elephant-shaped boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park may not be the stars of a circus, but these giant granite boulders are the stars of this unusual park in southeast Missouri.
The elephant rocks, which were formed from 1.5-billion-year-old granite, are giant boulders that stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. The rocks have created formations that intrigue geologists, are popular with history buffs interested in the past quarrying, and fascinate children who love to climb on and between the boulders.
An easy way to see the rocks is from the Braille Trail, which was especially designed for people with visual and physical disabilities. The trail winds through the main area of rocks. An extension off the trail leads back to the ruins of an old railroad engine house, a remnant of the area’s quarrying and railroad history.
Picnic tables are scattered among the trees and provide inviting spots to have a picnic lunch or rest and enjoy the interesting geologic formations found throughout the park.