Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia MO

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is a beautiful park found in Columbia MO. Take some time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of MO. There are some impressive attractions in Rock Bridge Memorial park such as the Devil's Icebox, where underground steam escapes the Earth.

There is, of course, a rock bridge, which is how the park got its name that is formed over the river. This is due to the cave collapsing in one area. This amazing natural formation is what the park was built around.

However, there is an entire cave system in this park to explore. You will not only find the Devil's Icebox and the rock bridge but there are sinkholes, springs, and even an underground spring. It is a great place to hike and explore with the entire family.

Some of the special events that are held in the park are the first-day hike, water festival, Jr. Naturalist Day Camp and Weekends on the Boardwalk. It has a wide diversity of various natural formations in the park from restored grasslands, to forest and streams. The karst topography is very prevalent here with the various caves, streams, sinkholes and small springs.

The Rock bridge was formed when it separated from the rest of the cave system and the roof collapsed. The Devil's Icebox is made from an underground spring that hits the cool air to form steam. Conner's Cave would be downstream and is open for exploration.

However, the Devil's Icebox is shut off for exploration due to the bat population here. It is important to the state of Missouri to try to preserve this bat population by stopping the public from intruding in their cave.

The Devil's Icebox in Columbia MO

The Devil's Icebox cave system has approx. 6.5 miles of mapped caves. Inside these caves are where the endangered gray bats root all summer long. Here they will give birth to a new bat population and raise their young. One bat eats 100s of insects a night and plays an important role in the ecosystem. This cave system is the only known home of the pink planarian, which is a flatworm.

The water that is found here will flow through the rock bridge, which was a power source in earlier times. In 1834 it was the home of the first paper mill that was west of the MI. This paper mill would eventually turn into a whiskey distillery in 1847. This once-thriving community of Rockbridge Mills would eventually have the name of Pierpont, which is the French word of "Rock bridge".

The rock bridge memorial state park got its name from the famous rock bridge as well as in the memory of a professor's daughter. He was a professor at the University of Missouri and wanted to have a place where the children could play freely without fear of being harmed.

This land was privately owned for many centuries but was already being used for semi-public events. The little girl will forever be remembered at this park. There are also bat observation programs and an orienteering course to try your skills at.