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“A secluded wildlife hideaway just yards from the interstate”
Review of Lone Elk Park

Lone Elk Park
Ranked #20 of 225 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My wife and I had a couple of hours to kill recently while in the St. Louis area, so she suggested we go to Lone Elk Park. She grew up in St. Louis and remembered traveling there for field trips. I had never heard of the park and thought she was pulling my leg when she told me there are bison and elk herds there. So we started the drive-through and greatly enjoyed the scenery. There is a nice lake with occasional waterfowl. The drive itself is worth the trip from the city just for the escape to nature. As we neared the end of the drive, I saw an elk ahead of us. It turned out to be a mother with her newborn. We sat in our car for a few minutes watching them with no disturbance from other visitors. We decided to let them go about their business, satisfied with the distant view of the mother and her calf. Just a couple of minutes later, we were surprised to come upon two large stags lying right beside the road. They seemed to be accustomed to the traffic and didn't seem bothered by our presence at all. I snapped a couple of pictures from the safety of my drivers seat and drove on.
I would definitely recommend a drive through Lone Elk Park for someone needing an escape from the city, or for the nature lover travelling through St. Louis. For those on a budget, it is totally free; and for those with children, they would love seeing the wildlife.

1  Thank Wes B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bison"
in 191 reviews
"bird sanctuary"
in 74 reviews
"drive thru"
in 20 reviews
"donation box"
in 11 reviews
"great drive"
in 10 reviews
"saw deer"
in 8 reviews
"wild animals"
in 14 reviews
"drive through"
in 7 reviews
"white tail deer"
in 6 reviews
"louis county"
in 13 reviews
"natural setting"
in 6 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 8 reviews
"beautiful lake"
in 5 reviews
"picnic"
in 64 reviews
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in 25 reviews
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403 - 407 of 444 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

Been 3 times now, and saw bison and elk each time. 1st couple of times, all the female and young elk were hanging around at the visitor center, you can get out of your car, but the signs do advise not to approach them. The 3rd trip didn't see the females, but there were 2 stags with large racks laying beside the road. We were able to park 50 yards away, and walk back (within 30 feet) for some great shots.
The bison are in a separate area, and you are STRONGLY advised to stay in your car. 1st trip saw the bison through the trees at the lake side in their section. Next two trips, they were laying and/or walking right beside the road (and in the road) at the top of the hill.

Thank pun-gent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

I guess if you don't mind driving around looking for the Elk or the Buffalo and then taking the chance of seeing them this is okay. Personally, I would rather go to the St. Louis Zoo where I have at least a 50-50 chance of seeing the critters I like.

At Lone Elk on the two visits my wife and I made, we saw one elk and several buffalo which were so far away that I think that they were buffalo but could not swear to it.

The park itself is very nice, hilly and just like being in the wild. Not much for amenities, and don't try to fish in the lake or they will toss you in the clink whether you have a valid Missouri Fishing license or not. It seems only those who make a reservation at least a week in advance can fish at Lone Elk, and then a fee is required. Hmmm and I thought that I paid for County Parks with my taxes and sales tax.

A limited number of picnic sites are available, and while we did not take advantage of the hiking trails, they are fenced off from the animals.

Not the best way to spend the day with little kids.

Thank Stu K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

First stop was the wild bird sanctuary. My children loved seeing the birds. Then we drove passed the beautiful lake and saw many picnic tables. We were almost out of the park and I began telling them how this was the first time I did not see a bison or an elk. Boy was I wrong! As we were leaving we had to stop the car for several adult and baby bison to pass. Then as I began to drive we actually had to back our van up because of a huge Elk crossing the road. We sat there and watched him and another Elk. On the way out we saw some deer too.

1  Thank pinkfrogtoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2013

If you are visiting St. Louis and are looking for something a little more than the normal tourist things you may want to pack a picnic lunch and spend some time in Lone Elk State Park located in Valley Park, Missouri. You can enjoy your lunch overlooking a small lake as well as watching the critters who reside in the park. You will see bison and elk. I would suggest you go early in the day because the animals are more active and feed in the morning before it gets to hot. You drive through the park and at this time of year you will see baby elk and baby bison. You will need to drive very slowly as these animal get right up to the road and have no problem walking right out in front of your car. Two weeks ago a female elk dropped her calf about 20 feet from the road. As many times as I have been there, it is still a thrill to see the animals. Also watch for deer as they dart through the woods. The park is beautiful and well maintained. If you live here and haven't been, especially now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, this would be a perfect place to spend some family time. There is no charge to get into the park.

2  Thank Carlene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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