Missouri is home to over 6,300 caves which have been formed through the years by water that has seeped through the limestone and dolomite bedrock that underlies much of this state. While there are many caves that you can explore on your own and others that do offer tours, there are only four caves with guided tours that are located in Missouri State Parks.
Ozark Caverns – Lake Of The Ozarks State Park – Linn Creek, Missouri
Ozark Caverns is located in beautiful Lake Of The Ozarks State Park. One of the major attractions of Ozark Caverns is the very uncommon “Angel Showers”, in which the solid ceiling of rock has a continual shower of falling water. Visitors will also be able to see claw marks in the sediment fills that was left by several different kinds of animals thousands of years ago.
The temperature in the cave is 56 degrees F and is home to salamanders, bats and many species of invertebrates.
After your cave tour you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds and if you are up to it, you can also hike the mile long Coakley Hollow Trail which begins and ends at the caverns parking lot.
For more information on tour schedules, operating hours, admission fees and group rates call 573-346-2500. You can also contact the Lake Of The Ozarks State Park at 573-348-2694.
Fisher Cave – Meramec State Park – Sullivan, Missouri
Fisher cave is one of the more than 40 caves in the 6,896 acre Meramec State Park. Seasonal tours are offered in Fisher cave where you will find bear claw marks that have been well preserved throughout the years. You will also be able to view the unlimited number of calcite deposits, some of which are 30 feet tall columns.
While at Meramec State Park you can also picnic, hike, camp, visit the park store, rent a canoe or raft, rent a cabin, motel room or the conference center. If you love water activities you will enjoy swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing in the Meramec River.
For more information on tour schedules, operating hours, admission fees and group rates call Meramec State Park at 573-468-6072.
Onondaga Cave – Onondaga Cave State Park – Leasburg, Missouri
Onondaga Cave is registered as a National Natural Landmark. Your trained guide will lead you on an electrically lighted paved walkway for your tour of the cave. Inside the cave you will see and learn about the King’s Canopy, the Twins and the river that flows through the cave. The temperature in the cave is 57 degrees F year round.
The park has a campground and picnic area and you may also enjoy canoeing and fishing while you are there. See a panoramic view of the Meramec River atop the Vilander Bluff Natural Area.
For more information on tour schedules, hours of operation, admission fees and group rates call 573-245-6600. You can also contact the the Onondaga Cave State Park at 573-245-6576.
Cathedral Cave – Onondaga Cave State Park – Leasburg, Missouri
The Cathedral Cave is also located in Onondaga State Park and is more of a challenge than the Onondaga Cave tour.
This is a lantern tour which begins at the campground shower house and you will start the tour by walking up the Deer Run Trail to the entrance of the cave. You will then tour the 57 degree F cave for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. After leaving the cave you will walk the trail back. The entire tour lasts about 2 hours and is about one and two thirds miles round trip.
For more information on tour schedules, hours of operation, admission fees and group rates contact the Onondaga Cave State Park at 573-245-6576.