Meramec State Park

Quick Facts

Meramec State Park

Missouri

(573) 468-6072

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The beauty of the Meramec River and its surrounding bluffs, caves, and forests have pleased visitors ever since the park opened in 1927. In 1933, the craftsmen of the Civilian Conservation Corps began blending a variety of visitor facilities into the park's rugged landscape. This popular 6,896-acre park offers year-round access to camping, picnicking and trails. Guided tours of Fisher Cave, one of more than 40 caves in the park, are provided on a seasonal basis for a nominal fee. Water enthusiasts will enjoy swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing in the Meramec River. Weekdays offer substantially more solitude than weekends.

Meramec State Park's visitor center offers a mix of educational exhibits including large aquariums that display the amazing variety of aquatic life found in the river. Here, guests can orient themselves to the park's many permanent and seasonal attractions and facilities before venturing out into the park.

Additional facilities include a park store that offers raft and canoe rentals, campsites (including three group sites), rental cabins, motel rooms and a conference center. Some services and facilities are only available on a seasonal basis.

Map of Meramec (MO)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.255192, -91.040059

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Activities

  • Boating

    You can use the one concrete motorboat launch or the canoe launch, both located near the park store, to access the Meramec River. They are available during park hours. A gravel boat launch is located in the campground and is available only for the camping patrons. There are no launch fees. Canoeing and rafting are also very popular park activities. Canoes and rafts can be rented at the park.

  • Camping

    Meramec State Park offers basic, electric and sewer/electric/water campsites. On-season (April through October) services include reservable sites, a dump station, showers, water and laundry.

    Meramec State Park offers three group tent areas (A, B and C) in addition to their regular campsites. Each tent area contains a paved parking lot for approximately 16 vehicles, eight picnic tables, two fire grills and two lantern posts. The minimum group size per area is 15 persons and the maximum size is 50 persons. A showerhouse is conveniently located in the area. Check with park office for current rates.

    The park also offers rental cabins and motel rooms, which are available April through October.

    Eight backpacking camps are provided along Wilderness Trail.

  • Caving

    Fisher Cave is truly one of the park's most spectacular natural wonders. Naturalist-led tours, offered on a seasonal basis, provide an interesting adventure for park visitors. From the low, narrow streamside passages to the huge rooms filled with calcite deposits, Fisher Cave offers one outstanding cave scene after another. Inside these rooms and passages are well-preserved bear claw marks, cave wildlife and a vast array of calcite deposits ranging from intricate hellectites to massive columns 30 feet tall. Special permit-use only caves are also available. Check with park office for current openings.

  • Climbing

    Rock climbing is allowed with a permit.

  • Fishing

    The Meramec River is one of the most diversified rivers in North America. More than half of the fish in Missouri are found in the Meramec River. All three of the black bass can be fished, along with catfish and panfish.

  • Hiking

    Meramec State Park trails are designated for hiking use only, except for the Wilderness Trail, which may also be used for overnight backpacking. Together, these six trails will lead you to glades laced with gorgeous wildflowers, lush forests carpeted with ferns, red and gold hillsides ablaze with fall color, and places of quiet solitude where the beauty of nature can permeate the soul.

  • Historic Sites

    At the visitor center, you will find park literature, exhibits and a slide show to obtain an overview of the park's natural, cultural and recreational resources. Many of the center's exhibits focus on the Meramec River, which contains the greatest variety of aquatic life in Missouri. These exhibits include a 3,500-gallon aquarium, a life-size riverbank diorama and a complete collection of the river's unique, rare and endangered mussels.

    You can attend a wide variety of nature programs presented daily during the on-season (April through October). A nature program schedule is produced every Thursday for a week of nature walks, river wades, evening programs and cave tours.

  • Picnicking

    A picnic area and playground are available for visitor use in the park. In addition, the park's four picnic shelters can be reserved by large groups in advance. If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • RVing

    RV users will find electric and water service in campsites at Meramec State Park.

  • Water Sports

    There are no designated swimming areas, but people are allowed to swim at their own risk. Access to the river is available throughout the park and guests should choose their own spot to swim at their own discretion.

Seasonality/Weather

Some sites and services are not offered in the off-season. Check with park office for current information.

All caves have special resources and/or special hazards. For example, several caves are closed during the winter due to bat hibernation. For information on which cave will best meet your needs, contact a park naturalist at 573-468-8155.

Park Partners

Meramec State Park Concessions, Inc.

Meramec State Park Concessions operates rental cabins and motel rooms, as well as float trips on the river and the park store and restaurant.

Stay in one of the park's many rental cabins and motel rooms, which are available April through October. Cabins scattered across the hillside overlooking the valley are heated and air-conditioned and come complete with linens, cooking utensils and dishes. Guest accommodations also include the Hickory Ridge Motel and Conference Center. Lodging rental is coordinated at the park store that also has picnic supplies, toiletries, tackle, souvenirs and firewood.

Dining at the park's rustic dining lodge is popular with many guests. The scenic view from its patio is among the best in the park. Group and banquet dining arrangements are also available. Hours vary by season.

(573) 468-6519

Directions

Driving

From St. Louis: Meramec State Park is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes from the St. Louis area. Travel west on I-44 to Exit 226/Sullivan/Highway 185 South. After exiting, turn left to travel over I-44 and continue for three miles south on Highway 185. The state park entrance is on the right side.

From Cuba/St. James/Rolla: Travel east on I-44 to Exit 226/Sullivan/Highway 185 south. After exiting, turn right onto Highway 185 and continue for three miles. The state park entrance is on the right side.

From Jefferson City: Meramec State Park is approximately one hour and 45 minutes from Jefferson City. Travel south on U.S. Highway 63 to the Vichy Airport area. Turn east onto Highway 68 and continue to St. James; take I-44 east to Exit 226/Sullivan/Highway 185 south. After exiting, turn right onto Highway 185 and continue for three miles. The state park entrance is on the right side.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(573) 468-6072

Links