What to do in Graham Cave State Park

**Note: This information was provided by www.mostateparks.com.

Nestled in the hills above the Loutre River in Montgomery County, Graham Cave State Park features an unusual sandstone cave that contained evidence that rewrote history books. Once used for shelter, Graham Cave became historically significant when archaeologists discovered how long ago human occupancy had occurred.

University of Missouri archaeologists uncovered artifacts revealing human use of the cave dating back to as early as 10,000 years ago. Clues to the lifestyle of the ancient Dalton and Archaic period Native Americans were uncovered. Today, visitors are allowed in the entrance of the cave, where interpretive signs point out interesting discoveries.

Surrounding Graham Cave is 356 acres of naturally diverse land designated as Graham Cave State Park. Several trails wind throughout the park's forests and glades. A boat ramp on the Loutre River provides access for boating and fishing. An open picnic shelter, playground areas and picnic sites make the park an ideal place for a day of family fun. For those in need of a longer retreat, a wooded camping area offers basic and electric campsites, modern restrooms and hot showers.

Come explore the history that unfolded at Graham Cave and enjoy nature at Graham Cave State Park.

There are four scattered picnic sites located near the boat ramp, interpretive shelter and visitor center. The playgrounds nearby are under renovation at the present time. These amenities help make Graham Cave State Park an ideal family retreat. The covered shelter is reservable April through October for $30 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis during the off season. The shelter can occupy up to 80 people. Reservations must be made two weeks in advance by calling the park office at (573) 564-3476.

Recreation
Located at the south end of the park, a paved boat ramp provides easy access to the Loutre River for boating and fishing. There are no fees for the boat ramp, and avid fishermen and boaters can enjoy the river between 7 a.m. and sunset. A picnic area is also near the boat ramp for gatherings of friends or families. (The boat ramp is closed from Dec. 2 through March 15.)

Anglers can enjoy casting a line in the Loutre River for a chance at catfish and bluegill. There is no designated fishing area in the park. Fishing is allowed from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Graham Cave was the first archaeological site in the United States to be designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Several hiking and bicycling trails wind through the park allowing visitors to enjoy an up-close look at the park's combination of moist bottomland forests, rocky oak-hickory forest and glades.

Fern Ridge Trail is an accessible walking trail that meanders around the interpretive shelter and picnic area and connects with Graham Cave Trail.

Loutre River Trail is the longest hiking and bicycling trail in the park. This trail travels from the picnic shelter at the south end of the park to the north camping areas. Loutre River Trail has much to offer in the way of a scenic view as you ride or hike along side of the Loutre River.

Indian Glade Trail is an accessible walking trail that leads to the entrance of the cave, where interpretive signs point out some of the interesting discoveries. This trail also connects to the camping areas.

Graham Cave Trail is a walking trail only that leads to the main feature of the park, Graham Cave. Graham Cave Trail connects with an asphalt trail leading to the interpretive shelter. The asphalt trail has a high degree of incline.

Location
217 Hwy. TTMontgomery City, MO 63361

Climate
Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.

Address
217 Hwy. TT
Montgomery City, MO 63361

Phone: 573-564-3476

Email: moparks@dnr.mo.gov
  • Graham Cave State Park Travel Q&A

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