Nestled along the Ozarks, Missouri is a state as diverse in its terrain as it is in its pronunciation. From the mountainous Ozark region and gently rolling hills to vast plains stretching across the Midwest, Missouri’s topographical diversity allows for some extraordinary recreational activities. While it was hard for us to choose just one of the great things to do while visiting Missouri State Parks, we have to say caving is somewhere on the top of our list. Brimming with mystery, history and natural beauty, the caves you’ll find throughout Missouri are like giant mouths beckoning us to come in and explore their cavernous interiors. While we highly recommend checking these caves out for yourselves (Pocket Ranger® can help you find a cave near you!) we can’t resist sharing our favorite Missouri caves and why we love them so much!
Fisher Cave at Meramec State Park
We like to think of Fisher Cave as Mother Nature’s mansion, offering room after room of geological wonders, that many of us have never seen before or will never see again. Even more fascinating are the animal tracks and claw marks so perfectly preserved in the cave’s interior as if to say, “we were here,” a message from the past wildlife to the cave’s present dwellers.
Cathedral Cave at Onondaga State Park
This cave’s name only hints at the intricate, mystical treasures that lie within. If you think flip-phones are old, wait until you see this ancient cave system that is said to be well over 400 million years old, an impressive age with equally impressive geological features. Naturalist-guided lantern tours are offered at Onondaga, so you can learn the geology and history behind the nooks and crannies of this natural wonder.
Graham Cave at Graham Cave State Park
In this modern age of technology where food can be zapped and put on the table in a matter of minutes, it is easy to forget about man’s humble beginnings as hunters and gatherers, rather than texters and tweeters. Graham Cave at Graham Cave State Park reminds us of these days of foraging, when hollow caves were more than just for exploring—they were homes. Travel through this cave system to retrace the footsteps mankind took tens of thousands of years ago, and uncover the mysteries of their days.