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“beautiful cave site”

Onondaga Cave State Park
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Leasburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Descend 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 the underground wonderland. But if you prefer the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River. Easy access to the Meramec River allows visitors to canoe or fish in a bucolic setting.
Reviewed 12 March 2018

One [lace you will not want to miss. Beautiful and unique cave formations. We have been several times and it never gets old

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank Kmaria52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"hiking trails"
in 6 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 10 reviews
"lily pad"
in 3 reviews
"onondaga cave"
in 11 reviews
"great camping"
in 3 reviews
"travel trailer"
in 2 reviews
"river access"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center"
in 3 reviews
"gravel bar"
in 2 reviews
"year olds"
in 2 reviews
"canoe launch"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
in 3 reviews
in 10 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 7 reviews

8 - 12 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 1 February 2018

This park is relatively close to my home, so I visit multiple times throughout the year. Onondaga Cave is the obvious centerpiece of the park, but the trails looping through the hills and rock formations are spectacular. The cave has been covered in specific reviews, so I'll concentrate on the remainder of the park.

The park contains the cave, visitor center, campground, picnic areas, boat ramp, canoe launch, and trail network. The visitor center contains the ticket desk for the cave tours and a small nature museum which covers the history and ecology of the cave. Be sure to check out the seismograph station just inside the entrance for information on earthquake activity around the midwest...very interesting! Restrooms and drinking fountains are available here as well. Check out the schedules for tours of Cathedral Cave in the park while you're here as well.

The campground is located well off the main access road, so it is relatively quiet. Basic camping facilities exist...a playground, fire pits, posts for camping lanterns, etc. An amphitheatre is centrally located for educational programs throughout the warmer months. The swimming area along the Meramec River is a large spacious gravel bar with plenty of area for families to enjoy the river without feeling crowded most of the time. The campground is severely effected by seasonal flooding, however. Check the weather before visiting since even the main access road can be closed on short notice.

Picnic areas are located on both sides of the access road, and a pavilion is available near the visitor center. At the time of this review, the large pavilion along the campground access road has been taken down due to damage from floods. Each picnic site is well shaded and most are within an easy stroll down to the riverside. Trash cans, restrooms, and fire pits/bbq pits are available.

The boat ramp is a concrete slab extending down into the Meramec River near the Cave Road Bridge. This area contains pit style toilets and the parking is somewhat limited. This area can get fairly busy during the weekends. The canoe launch is a gravel ramp across Cave Road from the boat ramp area. It consists of a gravel ramp which extends into the river downstream of the bridge. A pit toilet is available here as well. Careful here, the mud can be slippery!

The trail network at this State Park is spectacular! Three main trails are well marked, and all intersect near the campground entrance. One loops through the hillsides above the cave and offers a good hike over high wooded hills above the visitor center. Another covers the ridgelines near the the campground and follows the limestone bluffs above the Meramec River which allows for some awe inspiring views. The third is a handicapped friendly trail which follows an oxbow lake from the visitor center to the cave's natural entrance (check out the waterfall and mill pool here!) and ends near the campground entrance. The water here is crystal clear and is full of wildlife and birds. The trail is lined with interesting rock formations and ruins from the previous commercial activity at the cave in the early to mid 1900's.

The activity at the park can be quite busy during the summer months, but don't overlook this park during the cooler fall and winter months. The leafless trees allow for a clearer view of the landscapes and wildlife. These are actually my favorite times to visit! Give this park a shot. It's not far off I-44 and an easy hour drive out of St. Louis.

Note: if you visit for the cave tour, take some long sleeved shirts or sweatshirts, even during the summer it is cool inside.

Date of experience: January 2018
6  Thank PainKiller_24518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2017

Onondaga campground is a very pretty spot for camping. This is a beautiful state park. The bathrooms and showers are clean with hot water. There are plenty of trails for hiking. There is an outfitter near the park if you want to do a float trip. Or, you can self shuttle as we did.
We stayed on site # 45 which is large and flat. We camped in a travel trailer.
Wi Fi is sketchy at best.

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank Red-Camper29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017 via mobile

Cave is great, but the campground is disappointing. The area does flood in high water, but I wish the state would develop the ground on the hills near the cave with nice 2 bedroom one bath cabins with bbq grill, covered porch with table and fire pits with picnic table outside each unit. It is sad to see other states with far better camping lodging, and campground cabins should have bathrooms. Outpost cabins are great too, but would be better with bathrooms. This park is under developed, and could be a state gold mine, but I never want to see motel lodging here like they did at Echo Bluff. Our state needs updated furnished and equipped rustic cabins with fire pits at each cabin and tables and bbq grills and small covered porches in the event of rain. Ideally cabins with larger windows to connect the interior and outdoors. Would love to see the hillside of this park developed as such. Would be cool to have some state A frame cabins too.
For now, this campground has nice pavilion and bathrooms but I don’t like the campgrounds much at all. The highlights are river access with a popular floating company across the river and of course...the park has an amazing cave with a couple tour options:)

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Mayga1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 October 2017 via mobile

We had a great 3 day camping trip at the onondaga cave state park with our travel trailer. My husband and I have two young children, ages 2 and 6 that we’re with us. Our camp site was very nice with water and electric hook up. The site was level and clean and had a nice new wooden picnic table. There is a small playground available for children with both baby and kid swings and a nice jungle gym for them to climb and slide on. We enjoyed the nice paved roads for bike riding also. Be sure to go to the lower basic camp sites and walk through the cut through, to see the river. We enjoyed skipping rocks and taking pics with the rock Bluff in the back ground. We also took a short hike (led by our 6year old!) that went up the hillside along the river which had some great views of the river flowing below. You can opt to walk further around the path and make it a much longer hike but we went toward the top as far as we wanted to go and then turned and went back down. The park staff were very nice also and we met some really nice travelers during our stay. Onondaga cave was the cave we chose to tour this trip, it was great! We arrived early Saturday morning and signed up for the 9:30am tour. We were the only ones on that tour. It was so neat to have a private tour. Our guide was very informative and very kind and down to earth. As we were leaving out of the cave, the next tour had 42 people in it. It pays to be early. We also saw amazing structures within the cave and one bay as we left out. Some of the inclines are wet/slippery so be sure to wear good footwear and a light jacket. It was interesting to learn of those that owned the cave and how they altered it to meet their “needs” as well. If you get a chance, don’t miss out on this one. It is much more reasonably priced than other cave tours I’ve experienced.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Kimberly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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