Hike the Braille Trail at Elephant Rocks State Park

Step back in time and explore billion-year-old boulders when you hike the Braille Trail at Elephant Rocks State Park.

By Vivian Wheeler

Oct 2019

Boulders along the Braille Trail at Elephant Rocks State Park
Photo by Ben Nickelson, Missouri Department of Natural ResourcesThe Braille Trail is paved and easy for kids and hikers of all skill levels. The rounded boulders were formed a billion years ago and still delight visitors today.

This paved trail is super easy, kid-friendly and disabled accessible, so there’s no reason for anyone to sit this hike out, which is just one of the many reasons we love it. The “elephants” are another. Named elephant rocks for their gigantic size and round shapes, the boulders you see at this state park were formed 1.5 billion years ago and are some of the oldest rocks in the south-central and eastern United States. You’ll see plenty of these boulders on the Braille Trail.

Find the trailhead just off the parking lot. At the fork, go right and begin to follow the trail around the loop. After a half-mile, look for the spur trail on your left. Go left and make your way to a large outcrop of boulders. Here, kids (and, let’s be honest, you) can climb and play to your heart’s content. Scale these gigantic rocks and enjoy the view or search around the bottom of them for tinajitas, natural depressions formed into the rocks. Once you’ve had your fun on the elephants, head back to the trail and continue on the loop as you circle back to the parking lot.

Braille Trail at Elephant Rocks State Park Information

3 hours and 20 minutes east from Springfield, MO
Difficulty: Easy | Length: 1 mile | Kid- and Dog-Friendly: Yes
The Big Payoff: The Elephant Rocks | Photo-Op: Find Dumbo, the largest of the elephant rocks.

More Hiking Adventures


Whether you're an avid hiker always or more of a neighborhood stroller, the Ozarks has a trail for you, no matter your skill level. Check out the best scenic trails in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas