Drawing visitors from far and wide are the incredible rock formations in Elephant Rocks State Park. Many people say that the rocks look like elephants, hence where the park got its name. Located in southeast Missouri, this state park has a lot to offer those that rent an RV Iron County. The rocks are formed from 1.5 billion-year-old granite and have created some fascinating shapes.
Elephant Rocks State Park was created by the donation of land to the state from geologist John Stafford in 1967 and is now managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. While in the area, many people choose to explore the surrounding picturesque landscape or explore some of the nearby towns such as Ironton, Potosi, and Farmington.
One of the best ways to see the incredible rock formations at Elephant Rocks State Park is to take the Braille Trail, which is actually designed for people with disabilities but can be enjoyed by everyone. The trails wind their way directly through the rocks, and a deviation from this leads to the ruins of the old railroad engine house. There are various other spurs that lead off the main trail, one of which leads to a stunning overview of the St. Francois Mountains.
Many people, children especially enjoy the chance to clamber over the rocks, which are essentially are a natural playground. 'Fat Man's Squeeze' is a narrow gap between two boulders that is always fun to explore, while 'The Maze' leads visitors through a 100-foot section of the park that is full of scattered boulders.
After climbing and hiking, a great way to finish off the day is with a picnic, making use of one of the picnic areas. The picnic tables are scattered amongst the trees, which makes for a picturesque spot to grab a bite to eat. There are around 30 picnic sites altogether, so there is plenty of room for everyone who is camping at Elephant Rocks State Park.
Camping at Elephant Rocks State Park
Although there is no state park RV camping allowed directly in the park, there are plenty of options in the nearby area. Big Creek RV Park is a popular choice for many thanks to the full hookups provided at every site, cable TV, and WiFi and the fact that it is big rig friendly. There are 65 sites overall, 21 of which are pull-thru, and to cater for these there are a number of clean, private restroom and shower suites, plus a number of planned events that are held throughout the year, so it is worth checking the calendar before booking a stay in your RV rental.
Arcadia Valley RV Park is another good choice for those with a rental motorhome at Elephant Rocks State Park due to its warm and friendly atmosphere from the moment you arrive. Sites come with water, sewer, and electric hookups, with both 30 and 50 amp service available. Other amenities include internet and garbage disposal, plus ice and a vending machine. Sites are large and grassy, with many of them shaded by the large trees that dot the park, making it a very nice place to spend the night.
Exploring the Area
St Louis is just over an hour's drive away and provides visitors to the area with a huge range of attractions, eateries, and nightlife. One of the most visited attractions is the St Louis Zoo, a huge zoo that is home to more than 17,000 animals, both big and small. Many of the species that live here are either rare or endangered, with the zoo consistently working on a number of wildlife conservation, research, and educational projects. The zoo has 90 acres of animal exhibits, with animals from all over the world.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is also located in St Louis. The gardens were founded in 1859, which makes it the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark. Visitors are free to explore the 79 acres of the stunning horticultural display, including a 14 acres Japanese garden and one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. People come from miles around to stroll through grounds, taking in the colorful sights and learn more about plant life from all over the world.
The Bonne Terre Mine is an incredible place to explore on an adventure camping with an RV and has been named 'Americas best underwater attraction' for a reason. On this adventure, visitors are able to head below the surface at the world's largest freshwater dive resort. With over 100-foot visibility, you'll be able to see some incredible sights from the time the area was used for mining, such as oar carts, a staircase, elevator shaft, and much more. The whole lake is illuminated, and there is a total of 24 dove trails laid out in the lake for you to see when you book an RV in Iron County.