Another gem of Missouri’s unbelievable park system is the gorgeous Onondaga Cave State Park located on the Meramec River approximately 5 miles south of Leasburg. The park was established in 1982 and has numerous activities including cave tours, camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and swimming.
The highlight of this park is of course the Onondaga Cave, cave tours descend deep into the depths of Onondaga Cave State Park and drop into a world of wonder: towering stalagmites, dripping stalactites, and active flowstones help make the cave a National Natural Landmark and illustrate why Missouri is often called “The Cave State.” Visitors can take guided tours into this underground wonderland.
Trained guides lead guests over lighted paved walkways and provide fascinating information about geologic wonders such as the King’s Canopy, the Twins, and other unusual speleothems. With an interesting history and a river flowing through the cave, Onondaga Cave is a spectacular sight indeed.
Tours depart hourly from the visitor center about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cave has a year round temperature of 57ºF year-round. A light jacket and comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
If you so desire it, there is a second cave tour you can partake, Cathedral Cave is a lantern tour that lasts approximately two hours. This tour begins at the campground showerhouse and includes a short hike up Deer Run Trail to the cave’s entrance. The hike and tour cover about 2 miles round trip and is more strenuous than the Onondaga Cave tour.
Pets are not allowed on cave tours, but a limited number of pet crates are available to rent for $5.
If you prefer the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River. There is also easy access to the Meramec River which allows visitors to canoe or fish in a peaceful and scenic setting.
The campground offers basic and electric/water campsites and a special-use camping area. For a little extra space, try one of the park’s family campsites. There is also a playground and amphitheater, where nature programs are presented during the on-season. Basic camping supplies are available at the park store.
Onondaga Cave State Park is located at 7556 Hwy H, Leasburg, MO 65535, for more information or to make a reservation click here.