If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, then Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is probably your perfect version of heaven. Located just a short drive from Columbia, Missouri, this state park has something adventurous for pretty much anyone.
The park is home to some of the most popular hiking, biking, and sightseeing in the state thanks to the incredible scenic surroundings and the solitude it offers to visitors looking to get off the grid for the day.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is also home to a very curious cave named the Devil’s Icebox. Located smack-dab in the center of the forest, the cave in question is connected by two wooden bridges and a pathway that leads right to its opening. What sets this cave apart from others is the fact that no matter what time of year it is, it always stays a cool and comfortable 56 degrees... no matter what.
Over the years the cave has become a favorite stop for spelunkers and experienced cavers, brave (and skillful) enough to explore the entire underground structure. Unfortunately, it’s not currently open to the public, in an effort to protect the bats that have made their home inside from “white noise syndrome”, which is caused by a fungus. Keep your eyes peeled though, as access to the cave is expected to be opened again soon.
The entire park is filled with sinkholes and caves, formations which have been carved over the years from an acidic water flow that smooths the rock down to create passageways. Guests can choose from a handful of classes, tours, and training that will take excited groups to the best spots in the park.
Grab a tour through Connor’s Cave, which lets visitors have “lights-out” time in order to experience some of the natural animals that make their home inside. Learn about the park's geology, ecosystem, history, and even take an orienteering class from some of the best guides in the state.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is a perfect weekend adventure for anyone with a love of the outdoors. They have experiences for people of any outdoor skill, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot even if you’ve never stepped foot in the woods. It’s a perfect adventure destination where you’ll learn about the natural world and have a blast the whole time.
Featured image credit: Terry Robinson
Looking for more adventures? Explore a mile of underground caves hidden in the Great Smoky Mountains!