Mastodon State Historic Site contains an important archaeological and paleontological site – the Kimmswick Bone Bed, where scientists discovered the first solid evidence of the coexistence of humans and the American mastodon in eastern North America. Interpretative trails and picnic sites dot the landscape and a museum tells the natural and cultural story of the Clovis culture, which existed in the area between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago.
Spring Branch = an easy 3/4 mile walk through a portion of the Rock Creek bottomland. The trail follows a small stream flowing from Bollefer Spring, past remains of the Bollefer family springhouse, loops through the lowlands and continues along Rock Creek back to the picnic area. The spring keeps the stream’s temperature constant year-round, promoting an abundant growth of watercress.
Limestone Hill = is a steep and rugged 2 and 1/4 miles trail that starts with a big hill, no other big climbs after that, but it is uneven terrain (moderate). The trail winds along the base of a limestone bluff, up hill through an oak and hickory forest, across the hilltop and past an old quarry. In spring, the hillside is bright with dogwood, redbud and serviceberry.
Wildflower = begins next to the museum and leads to the site where the bones and artifacts were found. Address: 1050 Charles J. Becker Drive, Imperial, MO 63052
Directions: Take I-270 S to exit 1A to merge onto I-55 S (towards Memphis).
Take exit 186 for Imperial Main Street. Turn Right onto Imperial Main St/West Main St/Oak. Take the 1st Right onto West Outer Road. Turn Left onto Seckman. The trailhead for 2 of the trails is accessible from the picnic area parking lot on the left.