Imagine giant granite rocks standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. That's what you'll see at Elephant Rocks State Park. About 1.5 billion years ago, hot magma cooled forming coarsely crystalline red granite, which later weathered into huge, rounded boulders. Standing atop a granite outcrop, one of the largest elephant rocks, Dumbo, tops the scales at a whopping 680 tons! Visitors to Elephant Rocks State Park can easily view the granite boulders from the one-mile Braille Trail, designed to accommodate people with visual or physical disabilities. The trail passes by a quarry pond, which now supports a variety of animal life. A short spur off of the trail takes visitors to the top of the granite outcrop, where they can explore the maze of giant elephant rocks. A second spur brings visitors to a point overlooking an old quarry site. This red granite, first commercially quarried in the late 1800s, has been used as building material and as paving blocks for the St. Louis levee and downtown streets. An additional trail extends off the Braille Trail, taking visitors to the ruins of an old railroad engine house. Thirty picnic sites allow visitors to rest and have a cool drink among the stone pachyderms. Restrooms and a playground are availale. Come see for yourself why Elephant Rocks State Park is a place you'll never forget!
Karen and I had a little extra time after finishing the Mina Sauk Falls Trail at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, so we opted to check out Elephant Rock State Park.
Neither of us had ever been there before, and were not sure what we were getting in to, so we took off on the Braille Trail without any expectations and our packs (we left our trekking poles, packs, etc. back in the truck) and were carrying just a water bottle and a camera. There was no mileage markers at the beginning of the trail, although through AllTrails we knew it was about 1 mile long. We added a short 1/4 mile Engine House Ruin trail, and then did some climbing / exploring on the rocks. I would not call this "hiking" it is more of a paved path with some big ass rocks to climb on, which is really cool.
It is definitely a neat area and one that we will be back to, with some BBQ gear in tow (as it was one of the coolest picnic areas that i have seen in Missouri). By the time we scampered down the rock faces, we were left with 1-1/2 hours to get home, so we pointed the truck north on Hwy 21 and off we went.