At A Glance
Location: 1 Lone Elk Park Rd, Valley Park, MO, 63088
Hours: Open Daily 9AM – 7PM
Lone Elk Park is a 546-acre park located in St. Louis County. The park is adjacent to I-44, Castlewood State Park, Tyson Research Center, and the World Bird Sanctuary. During World War II, Lone Elk Park was part of the Tyson Valley Powder Plant, but after the war, in 1948, it became a county park where herds of bison and elk roamed.
The federal government obtained the land after the Korean War and destroyed all of the wildlife herds due to safety concerns in 1958. The only animal that survived was one lone bull elk. In 1964, St. Louis County acquired 405 acres of land for the Tyson County Park, which was renamed Lone Elk Park in 1966. In October 1971, the park officially opened its doors to the public, and it acquired six bison in 1973 from the Saint Louis Zoo.
The park offers various driving routes where visitors can view herds of bison and elk, often in close proximity, grazing in the wild. The park is also home to waterfowl, wild turkey, and deer. Due to the animal population in the park, no domestic animals are permitted at all – not even when kept inside the confines of your vehicle.
What to Expect at Lone Elk Park
If you’re looking for a quiet, laid-back, and free way to get more in touch with nature, you should head on over to Lone Elk Park in Valley Park. This is a wonderful place to just relax in your vehicle and look for wildlife. However, if you want to be more active during the process, you’ll find several really nice trails to hike.
It’s worth noting that the animals are fed daily at 8 AM, and this is the best time for wildlife viewing. Also, if you’re interested in fishing, they have reservations available but it’s all catch and release.
Lone Elk Park is open daily from 8 AM until sunset and is free to the public. There are no fees associated with entering or parking at Lone Elk Park.
Lone Elk Park is primarily a drive-through wildlife park. You should plan a minimum of 20-minutes for the park. However, keep in mind that when park lines are long or traffic is slow, it can take longer.
Lone Elk Park is home to a herd of bison that consists of one male, ten females, and about four calves at any given time. The park is also home to a herd of elk, of which there are usually five males, 12 females, and up to 9 calves.