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Braille Trail

Elephant Rocks State Park, Missouri

Elephant Rocks, the most curious geological formations in Missouri, are a collection of enormous granite boulders that resemble a herd of elephants walking single file atop a granite outcrop - the boulders were formed 1.5 billion years ago, during the Precambrian period, granting visitors today the chance to hike among some of the oldest rocks in the central United States.

The Braille Trail, a 1.1 mile paved interpretive lollipop loop made specifically with the visually impaired in mind, wends its way through hardwood forest and massive boulders of Missouri red granite - begin the hike at the parking lot, hiking 0.1 mile to reach the loop, continue in a counterclockwise direction, taking time to stop at the informative plaques (printed in braille as well), all the while watching for the spur trail that leads to the main attraction.

After hiking 0.5 mile you will see a path leading off to the left - make your way along the gently ascending trail to reach the top of the granite outcrop and the park's namesake boulders. Dumbo, the largest elephant-like rock, weighs in at nearly 700 tons and measures 27 feet high, 34 feet long, and 17 feet wide - perfect for photo ops. Return to the main trail via the spur and continue hiking counterclockwise - turn left at main trail.

At mile 0.8 you reach the quarry pond overlook - once a place of miners it's now home to a variety of wildlife. Watch for turtles and frogs basking in the sunshine before you make your way back to the parking area.

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