Lone Elk Park is located near Fenton, about 35 minutes southwest of St. Louis on I-44. It is a small park that is most famous for the wildlife. The entire park is surrounded by a fence that encloses the “wild” elk. There is a one-way loop road that goes around the park, which is situated around a large lake. Additionally, there is a 3 mile hiking trail that also goes around the park. By going on the hiking trail, you are almost guaranteed to see the elk.
After going on the hiking trail, I continued around the loop road to an area with metal grates similar to a cattle guard. This section of the park houses bison. Having gone in the winter, they were extremely docile and remained completely still right next to the road some 5 feet from my car.
Lone Elk Park is easily the best half-day hike in the St. Louis area and is great for people of all ages. While the trail is steep in sections, it is really easy to navigate because it is in a big circle. Additionally, this is probably the only place in Missouri where you can see bison and elk at such a close distance.