Family Weekender: St. Louis

Meramec State Park
By Gary Lantz
Go Guide: Meramec State Park

Activities: Hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, caving, dining lodge, general store, canoe rentals.

Age Levels: All ages.

Hours from St. Louis: One hour.

Getting There: Meramec State Park is four miles east of Sullivan on Hwy. 185.

Contact: Meramec State Park, Sullivan, MO 63080. Call (573)468-6519 for more information.

Reference: Missouri's Masterpieces: State Parks and State Historic Sites, distributed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Call 1-800-334-6946, or visit

Extra Treats: Check out the new park visitor center for interpretive natural history displays.


This park features several miles of the beautiful Meramec River, and recreation here centers around watersports — fishing, swimming, wading and especially canoeing.

The Meramec is springfed, the water clear, the current perfect for floating. Crowds may gather from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so for a more natural experience, schedule a float during autumn, early spring or on a warm winter weekend (wear appropriate clothing and take extra dry clothing in a waterproof bag just in case).

Meramec Park contains nearly 7,000 acres with a campground bordering the river. Explore the countryside and you'll find several springs, plus more than 30 caves. Park naturalists lead guided tours through Fisher Cave for a small fee. The experience is well worth the cost if you've never experienced the otherworldly ambiance of one of Missouri's famed limestone caves.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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