The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was part of the renowned Route 66 and crosses a scenic stretch of the Mississippi River. It links two states—Illinois and Missouri—north of St. Louis. The bridge is short and narrow, only 1 mile long by 24 feet wide, but it now carries bikes and pedestrians instead of cars across the river. On the Missouri side, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge connects to the St. Louis Riverfront Trail. In Illinois, travel a short distance east on Chain of Rocks Road to reach the Eagle Points Trail and Madison County Transit Confluence Trail.
Chain of Rocks gets its name from the river's rocky shoals south of the bridge. From the bridge deck you'll get stupendous views of the St. Louis skyline and the Mississippi River. The water-intake towers here rise above the river like half-submerged castle turrets and classic Route 66 memorabilia is displayed on the Missouri side. Interpretive signs tell the Route 66 story and the history of the bridge.
Parking is not advised at the Missouri trail end. To get to the Illinois trail end from I-270, take Exit 3 onto State Route 3 South/Lewis and Clark Boulevard. At the first stoplight, turn right onto Chain of Rocks Road and continue 2.2 miles to parking at the end of the road.