A small herd of bison have called this park, close to Interstate 44 and Highway 141, home for more than 50 years. There are 15 animals in the herd at the moment. The paved circle road that snakes through the many hundred-acre area of the park designated for them is where you may view them most days. The bison can, however, hide in knolls and slopes and go unnoticed.
This commercial park offers a two-hour guided tram trip, which includes a journey through a preserve where 20 bison and a big herd of elk can be seen. Despite the epidemic, tours are still available, but visitors must wear masks.
The reintroduction of bison to this huge prairie area took place in 2011. The herd, which may be the biggest in the state, currently occupies 2,300 of the 3,800 acres and numbers roughly 190 animals. Public viewing places are available, however excursions are now suspended.
The tallgrass prairie that once covered one-third of Missouri is now only found on the 4,000 acres that make up Prairie State Park in Missouri.
The park’s grassland is home to a herd of 100 bison, and ranger-led walks to visit the herd are still available. To find out the precise times and dates, get in touch with the park.
Park Lone Elk County
Lone Elk Park is a county park in the American state of Missouri that spans 546 acres (2.21 km2) and is situated west of the community of Valley Park in St. Louis County. The World Bird Sanctuary, Castlewood State Park, Tyson Research Center, and Interstate 44 are all close by to the park.
During World War II, Tyson Valley Powder Plant initially included Lone Elk Park. After the war, the region was turned into a county park, and in 1948, herds of bison and elk were developed. During the Korean War, the federal government once again controlled the area. In 1958, the wildlife herds were wiped off for safety concerns, but one lone bull elk survived. For Tyson County Park, which later changed its name to Lone Elk Park in 1966, St. Louis County purchased 405 acres (1.64 km2) in 1964. Six bison were purchased from the St. Louis Zoo in July 1973, and the park received its official opening on October 17, 1971.
Driving certain roads will allow you to see bison and elk, frequently in close proximity. Numerous waterfowl, wild turkeys, and deer also reside in the park.
In 2016, investigation was carried out to see if a sinkhole existed beneath the lake. The dock for boats was taken down. In 2017, fishing was prohibited in an effort to boost the fish population.
Contrary to the name, the park is home to a large number of elk, bison, and deer, as well as numerous pullouts.
You Can Get THIS CLOSE to a Huge Bison at Lone Elk Park in Missouri
There is one location in Missouri called Lone Elk Park where you can almost almost literally brush shoulders with a large bison or elk.
St. Louis County is where Lone Elk Park is situated. It’s a drive-through park where you can witness animals that are unusual for our region of America. You’ve always wanted to hear a bison growl or watch an elk bugle, right? Here you go…
This family demonstrated that there are other elk than the “lone elk.” Elk are prevalent.
The St. Louis County Lone Elk Park website provides a wealth of information about what you can do in and around the park if you’re thinking, “Wow, I’ve got to go there.” The greatest time to stroll through the park is in the morning, they say, when employees feed the animals.
There are a few hiking routes in Lone Elk Park as well. One is seven miles long, the other four miles. For planning time in this area, the park map is a great resource.
However, there are certain restrictions. What Lone Elk Park demonstrates about what you can and cannot do in the park and what to look out for is as follows:
Bison, wild turkey, ducks, elk, and deer can be found in Lone Elk Park, a wildlife management area. Motorbikes are not allowed. Domestic animals are not allowed, even if contained in a vehicle.
What a special occasion in Missouri. For instructions and other information, see the official website.
Gems of the Neighborhood: Lone Elk Park By: Megan Ortiz on November 29, 2016 Community Gems Zero Comments
Despite being named after a single, incredibly resourceful elk who roamed the grounds decades ago, the wildlife park is now teeming with animals. The 528-acre park is home to seven bison and 22 elk. On any given day, visitors can also see geese, waterfowl, water turkeys, and white-tailed deer. According to park manager Jim Emery, “people are frequently shocked by how near you can get to the creatures.” “It’s extremely uncommon for a place as close to an urban area as we are. In the early morning, you can be a few feet away. People appear to be most impressed by that.”
Visitors can choose to drive through the region or stroll along a 3.2-mile rugged pathway. Nevertheless, there are cautionary warnings posted all over the park to let visitors know that the 500-pound beasts can be harmful. Visitors are advised to just drive and stay in their cars during mating season. They’ll treat you like an elk, so Emery warns, “You really have to be on your toes.” “These animals are unique in every way. Truly untamed, they are. Animals must be domesticated for a thousand years, but elk and bison haven’t been around for that long.”
The bison enjoy 100 acres all to themselves among the park’s 528 acres, 400 of which are walled. However, much as with people on foot, vehicles have also been hurt by the animals. According to Emery, “Bison can be deadly at any time and has been known to damage autos.” “They enter at their own peril, we make clear. Bison usually give off indicators exactly like cattle and horses do before they turn hostile.
However, not everyone can read the signs. Anytime you have animals—even domesticated ones—there is always a potential of danger.” Few people are too afraid to have a close-up look at the park’s splendor. Visitors get a diverse look into the animals’ lives depending on the season. The elk rut and bugle in the fall, which is a majestic sound only heard during the mating season, and summer is when babies are born. Because of the distinctive view, cars queue up outside in the snow while they wait for the road to be plowed and the gates to open.
The Army tested munitions on the facility, which was a part of the Tyson Valley Powder Plant, both before and during the Korean War. It has changed considerably since St. Louis County assumed custody of it in 1971. Elk used to roam freely when the Army controlled the area, according to Emery. “They eventually concluded there were too many for safety and shot them. According to the legend, one did stay within these restrictions, and in the 1970s, this is how the park received its name. Although I can’t verify it, I believe that the lone elk’s genetic makeup is still present.”
Where: 1 Lone Elk Park Road, I-44 N. Outer Road, west of Highway 141 when >> Open every day of the year except Christmas; 8 a.m. to a half-hour after official sunset why >> To see bison and elk up close in their natural environment.
How many elk and bison are in Lone Elk Park?
Missouri Highway 141 and U.S. Highway 44 intersect; take the north outer road on the west side of the highway; follow the signs.
To test, store, and export ammunition, the US government purchased roughly 2,600 acres of land in west St. Louis County, Missouri, in 1941. The Tyson Valley Army Powder Storage Farm was the name of the establishment. The Farm was designated as surplus land following World War II, and St. Louis County Parks purchased it in 1947. On July 5, 1948, the Tyson Valley County Park was inaugurated. Ten elk, two males and eight cows, were purchased by the Park Service in February 1951 and released into the brand-new County Park. Due to the Korean War, the Department of the Army recovered the majority of the former Powder Storage Farm later that year so that ammunition testing could resume. The American government still owned the site at the end of the Korean War. The elk herd had increased to 103 animals by 1958 and was overgrazing the area. The army made the decision to remove the entire herd for safety reasons and because there weren’t enough resources to effectively feed the elk over the winter. Elk were believed to have been eradicated entirely between October 1958 and March 1959. The Powder Valley Farm was again designated as surplus land by the federal government in 1963. The Farm’s 405 acres were afterwards acquired by the St. Louis Parks Department. The Parks Department soon discovered significant traces throughout the Park, and neighbors said that a cow or other large animal was loose nearby. A park employee saw an adult bull elk standing seven feet tall early one morning. The elk hunt of 1958–1959 resulted in the survival of one elk calf; the elk was either hidden or mistaken for a deer at the time of the round up. The elk was then given the moniker “Lone Elk.” A fence was built along the park’s perimeter by the County Parks Department, but it had a gap in it. The task of determining if the elk had entered the Park through the gap belonged to the then-park supervisor. The gap was filled with sand as park officials waited. The fence’s opening was sealed when a set of elk tracks was observed entering the Park. Elementary school students in the Rockwood School District raised money to buy more elk from Yellowstone. The “Lone Elk” was united with others of its kind in 1966, eight years after going it alone. Both herds of bison have been in the Park since 1973, when they were brought there from the St. Louis Zoo. Today, Lone Elk Park is a treasure in the St. Louis County Park system, home to a herd of elk, as well as a herd of bison (there is now one male, ten females, and four newborn calves) (currently five males, 12 females and 9 newbord calves). White-tailed deer, numerous bird species, various skunk families, turtles, and more are examples of other fauna. Winter is the ideal time of year for bords. The other animals, though, is present all year long. I’m sharing pictures of some of the animals I’ve seen in the last two years.
Lone Elk Park allows for hiking.
For a challenging hike or a trip with the family, you want to identify the best paths in Lone Elk Park. Two excellent hiking trails are available on AllTrails. Enjoy personally curated trail maps, along with comments and images from other outdoor enthusiasts like you.
Are you all set for your upcoming bike or hike? With paths ranging from 314 to 1,305 feet in elevation increase, we’ve got you covered. Find the ideal trail for your next visit to Lone Elk Park no matter what you have planned for the day.
Are there bison in the wild in Missouri?
Status. Extinct in Missouri, bison have been reintroduced to Prairie State Park, where they have established a herd that is thought to be wild because the animals graze freely and reproduce normally. Some people also raise bison in captivity and sell their meat.
In Missouri, how many bison exist?
According to Carol Morris, executive director of the Missouri Bison Association in Springfield, Missouri, there are more than 50 ranchers in Missouri that are responsible for raising roughly 2,000 bison.
In addition, 400 more of the hairy yet beautiful beasts reside in public preserves in Missouri and Illinois that are each at least 1,000 acres in size.
Considering that there were only about 300 bison left in all of North America in 1889, Missouri and Illinois are assisting in ensuring that the breed never again comes close to extinction, according to Morris.
In actuality, the resurgence of the bison is one of the best achievements in animal conservation in history. They are visible in all 50 states, and according to some estimates, there may be up to 300,000 bison grazing on both public and private lands countrywide.
Even yet, it pales in comparison to the 30 to 50 million bison estimated to have roamed North America in the early 1800s, when they were vital to Plains Indian communities. The oil was helpful for cooking, and the meat was ample and nutritious. The bones were fashioned into tools, while the hide was used to make teepees and clothing.