Taking its name from 1.5 billion-year-old granite rocks shaped like elephants, Elephant Rocks State Park is the place to go for curious individuals and active families. With lots of walking trails across stunning scenery within arm's reach of Elephant Rocks State Park cabins, the park holds much adventure for those who love the outdoors and the wonders of natural history.
Places to Stay Near to Elephant Rocks State Park
Best Hiking Trails in Elephant Rocks State Park
Set across 7.5 acres, Elephant Rocks State Park offers a stunning location for marveling at these prehistoric giants. One trail in particular delights those interested in America’s historic past. And staying in Elephant Rocks State Park hotels puts you close to it all.
1. Braille Trail
One of the first trails to cater to the visually and physically impaired, this walk gained formal recognition as a National Recreation Trail. Weaving its way through the granite rocks, the walk also features an old red granite quarry site.
2. Engine House Ruins Trail
The Engine House Ruins Trail holds exactly what it promises: ruins! Constructed in the 1890s, the building assisted in the area’s mining activities. At the back of the house, the trail leads around the old quarry, providing access to the Braille Trail.
3. Big Sugar Creek Trail
Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, this trail runs through a small forest and a series of hollows alongside a creek. At 6.6 miles long, it forms a natural loop, ideal if you like to finish where you started.
Best Family Activities in Elephant Rocks State Park
Best known for its stunning scenery and hikes, Elephant Rocks State Park provides a number of places for all interests within a short distance of Elephant Rocks State Park cabins – such as historic sites, activity centers, and the chance to have a splash around in a rocky river.
1. Johnson Shut-Ins
A 15-minute drive from the park, the Johnson Shut-Ins on the East Fork of the Black River are just the ticket on a hot day. Known in the Ozarks as a "shut-in," this river narrowed via rocks draws visitors for a uniquely topographical swimming experience.
2. Fort Davidson State Historic Site
Find this museum in the shadow of Pilot Knob Mountain, an 8-minute drive or a 1.5-hour walk for the more adventurous. Explore the battle fought here in 1864 as part of a Confederate raid known as Price’s Raid. Every September the museum hosts an action-packed re-enactment.
3. Arcadia Valley
Learn about America’s cattle industry in nearby Arcadia Valley, a 12-minute drive from the park. With live demonstrations of cattle herding by real cowboys and a tour of the rugged and wild area, you won’t want to miss out.