Just minutes from Columbia, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park gives visitors the chance to scramble, hike and bicycle through a scenic environment – and lets them peek into Missouri’s underworld. The park contains some of the most popular hiking trails in the state and also offers solitude while hiking in the Gans Creek Wild Area. Visitors can also see a large cave system with its rock bridge, sinkholes, a spring and underground stream at the Devil's Icebox. You can explore Connor's Cave in the light of the opening for a taste of the underground world.
Non-profit, educational or Scout groups can take advantage of the special-use area for overnight primitive camping. It features two fire rings, a vault toilet and several picnic tables. There is no water or electricity. The cost is $2 per person, per night. Reservations are required. For more information, call 573-449-7402.
I've been out hiking here several times. It is always busy and being busy, it is loud, if you're looking for a quiet hike. That said, loads of nice scenery, a creek, and always something new to be found.
Great trails for biking and hiking and the creek is perfect for cooling off. However, this place can get really really busy.
Not only is this an amazing park but directly across the street sits more public land to explore
In the month of August I took a solo trip out to Columbia, MO to spend the entire day immersed in the beautiful Columbia landscape. I first heard about the cave systems, especially the infamous Devil's Icebox. And I had seen pictures of these beautiful wooden boardwalks that meander through the trees. When I arrived, I noticed that there were a ton of beautiful primitive trails besides the well-constructed boardwalks. And I also learned that there were even more caves, such as Connor's Cave. A number of families with little children ran around enjoying the boardwalks, ascending and descending the stairs built into the hills. I found the Devil's Icebox and was rejoiced by how remarkably cool it was (56 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact!) compared to the thick, humid summer air. I explored some of the extensive primitive trails, first by hiking and then by trail running. There are beautiful sights along the way, from wildlife to old, abandoned silos. The trails were marked by distance and difficulty, ranging from easy to challenging. I have yet to take on any camping out here. I had read that they charge non-profit groups and scouts a very small fee per person. I will have to go back and set up camp in these woods. I highly recommend exploring this park for the adventurous as well as the next family outing!