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Photo by mostateparks on Flickr
With summer approaching, there’s no need to stay cramped up at home. Whether you want to shed some winter pounds or get a little removed from the city, St. Louis and surrounding counties offer great trails for the hiker, biker, and equestrian. Here are some stand-out trails and parks that offer several options.
This park is great for both beginning and experienced hikers and bikers. Offering eight different trails, Castlewood is nestled between the Meramec River and surrounding meadows. 1401 Kiefer Creek, 636-227-4433.
Although Cliff Cave is the primary attraction, the 222-acre park also features five miles of hiking trails. The cave offers a wonderful opportunity to cool off during hot summer months. 806 Cliff Cave, 314-615-5000.
This park meets at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The area has trails and a picturesque viewing area of the two rivers. Before planning a trip, double-check the park’s availability— it’s prone to flooding. 801 Strodtman, 314-877-6014.
Sporting six trails for hiking and paved paths for bicycling, Babler Park puts together several events throughout the summer. The park also has facilities for bird watching, basic campsites, and electric campsites. 800 Guy Park, 636-458-3813.
Named after the former president of the Monsanto Chemical Company, Queeny Park is home to the Greensfelder Recreation Complex and the Dog Museum. The 564-acre park also has trails, fishing, and hayrides. 550 Weidman and 1675 S. Mason, 314-615-4386.
Great for biking, The Ulysses S. Grant Trail, otherwise known as Grant’s Trail, is an eight-mile long trail that passes by Grant’s Farm and Whitecliff Park. The first six miles are paved pathways and the concluding two miles are unpaved. 3900 Reavis Barracks, 314-436-7009.
Clocking in at 225 miles long, the Katy Trail is the longest trail in Missouri. The path is open to both hikers and bikers, and certain mile markers are designated for equestrian use. The trail is available for a quick 30-minute walk or a 10-day marathon. Machens, Mo., to Clinton Mo., 573-449-7402.
Owned and operated by the Ferguson-Florissant School District, this area has several different trails and ponds. It serves as a place to teach ecology, environmental science, and field biology to local districts. Be sure to sign in at the office when you visit. 2295 Dunn Road, Florissant 314-831-7386.
Laumeier Sculpture Park is where art and exercise combine. The park displays more than 20 sculptures amongst its paved and unpaved trails. The park also has several events worth attending throughout the year. 2580 Rott, 314-615-5278.
With 420-acres and four trails that are hiker, biker, and equestrian-friendly, Route 66 State Park offers a startling view of nature. The park is in close proximity with Castlewood State Park and Rockwoods Range and boasts that 40 types of birds have been spotted in the area—the perfect place to scratch that ornithological itch. 97 North Outer Road, Eureka, 636-938-7198.
Click here to check out more Missouri trails both near and far. Have any tips? Share them in the comments section.