This post continues our time in St. Louis, MO.
Read Day 1 here, Day 2 here & Day 3 here
Today, we checked out of our hotel to head back home.
However, before heading home, we decided to visit the nearby Lone Elk County Park.
Read reviews here
Lone Elk Park is a wildlife management area, with bison, wild turkey, waterfowl, elk and deer.
The park acreage was once part of the Tyson Valley Powder Plant used for the testing and storage of ammunition during WWII. After the War, the area served as a County Park, and in 1948 herds of elk and bison were established.
The land was re-acquired by the Federal Government during the Korean War, and for safety reasons the wildlife herds were destroyed in 1958. However, one lone bull elk survived.
In 1964 St. Louis County reacquired a portion of the original tract from the General Services Administration and in 1966 the name was changed from Tyson Park to Lone Elk County Park.
Six additional elk were obtained from Yellowstone National Park in 1966.
The park was officially opened to the public on October 17, 1971. Six bison were acquired from the St. Louis Zoo in July 1973.
The park also offers 30 trails that take 30 mins each to complete.
Near Lone Elk Park, you will also find the World Bird Sanctuary.
Read reviews here
With over 305 acres and over 200 animals in their care, the sanctuary offers a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience.
We didn’t have time to do both so we chose to do the Elk Park.
The Elk Park is a 546 acre drive through park where you will see bison, deer & elk roaming freely.
The gates are opened by 6:30-7 am year round and the park is free. The park closes at sunset.
There are year round restrooms, trails and shelters that can be reserved …staff feed the animals first thing in the morning so this is the best time to visit.
We arrived around 10 am so the animals had already been fed but we still saw them up close.
Our first animal encounter was a bunch of geese in the middle of the road.
There is a small lake in the park. Fishing is available by reservations only and it’s catch and release.
The drive through the park is very nice and would be gorgeous during the fall.
The next animal we saw was a huge elk but he wasn’t close enough for me to get a good picture.
However, as we drove a little further down the road, we saw several near the side of the road.
Most of them were females but there was a huge male nearby.
Thankfully, the park wasn’t very busy so we could sit and watch them for a while.
There is a visitor center in the park but it was closed when we were there.
Driving through the park
As we continued our drive, we came up on a herd of bison near the road.
There were several and one was HUGE! They were all behind a fence so we couldn’t get a good pic.
So, we continued our drive through the park.
We spotted another huge elk lying in the grass.
And more elk near the road
As we continued our drive, we came up on a traffic jam so we knew there had to be an animal in/near the road.
As we got closer, we could see that it was the huge bison standing in front of a car so the cars couldn’t move.
This thing was enormous! We’ve been to Yellowstone where there are a ton of bison and we’ve never seen one this big!
The bison started walking along the side of the road and headed in our direction.
And, the big boy himself headed our way….look at this thing!
The cars finally started moving, so we continued our drive.
We finally arrived to the exit and left the park. You can drive through as many times as you want.
After leaving the park, we headed to lunch.
As you all know by now, my hubby loves hamburgers and always looks for burger joints when we go on vacation and this trip was no exception.
He found a place called Five Star Burgers so that’s where we headed.
Read reviews here
They had outdoor and indoor seating….we started outside but then I got too cold so we moved inside.
I ordered a burger that had cheese, bacon and mushrooms on a gluten free bun with sweet potato fries.
It was just average to me. I can’t remember what my hubby ordered but I think he said it was just ok.
After lunch, we headed home.
A shot of the Gateway Arch from the interstate.
On the way home, we decided to stop off at the Superman Statue in Metropolis, IL just so my hubby could mark Illinois off his list of states that he’s visited.
The 15 ft tall, 3 ton statue was erected in 1993 at a cost of $120,000.00. The statue was made by the same company that built the giant Emmy outside the Television Hall of Fame in Hollywood.
Metropolis is the official hometown of Superman.
The statue had just been repainted and renovations of the statue had been extended into 2022.
We walked through the little town admiring all the neat shops.
The town was very cute!
They had a Superman museum but we decided to skip that lol.
The owner of the museum has been actively collecting since 1959, and now owns over 100,000 Superman items.
My hubby just had to have his picture made with this Superman cut out.
So, I decided I needed one with the Super woman cut out. 😉
As we were walking through the town, we passed a store that collected all kinds of oddities.
We came up on a bakery called Sissy’s Sweet Shop and decided to stop in for a cup of coffee…
However, while we were there, we noticed they had some delicious looking cinnamon rolls so we bought two to take home (they were some of the best we’ve ever eaten!)
The coffee was good but a little too sweet for me but they offered all kinds of fresh baked goods.
As we headed back to our car, we spotted a mural on the side of one of the buildings so just had to get a picture.
Driving through town
After driving through the small town, we decided to head home.
There is another statue in Metropolis…it’s called the Big John statue.
It stands 30 ft tall and stands out in front of the Big Johns grocery store.
We missed this statue and the kryptonite. 🙁
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for my next post on Fall Creek Falls State Park!