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The Creve Coeur Park Trails are a collection of paved pathways winding through wetland and wooded areas within St. Louis County’s first and largest park, which spans more than 2,000 acres. (When the west end of the trail crosses the Missouri River, it enters St. Charles County.)
The trail’s Lakeview Loop offers a 3.7-mile trip around the sizable Creve Coeur Lake, replete with well-used picnic shelters and opportunities to access the water from several points. Throughout the summer, you can experience the lake by kayak, available for rent. On the west side of the lake, the 2.8-mile Meadows Loop circles the Gateway Sports Athletic Field Complex. Restrooms and water fountains are available in this area, and several hiking-only trails can be found on the east side of the lake, offering a diverse outdoor recreation experience.
At the southern end of the park, the trail system loops around the smaller Mallard Lake, where you’re likely to see herons, egrets, and other waterfowl.
Between the two lakes is Page Avenue (MO 364), which bisects the park. If you pick up the trail that parallels the roadway and heads west out of the park, you’ll be on the 2.8-mile Creve Coeur Connector segment of the trail system. At the outset, you’ll pedal up a short, fairly steep hill, but then the trail will level out and you’ll soon cross a bridge spanning the Missouri River. On the other side, you can connect to the Katy Trail, which follows the river and spans nearly 240 miles across the state.
Although the Creve Coeur Connector parallels the highway, the landscape to the west is beautiful with native prairie grasses, a marsh, and wildflowers in the spring. As with most of this collection of trails, birds of all types can be enjoyed as you continue along this easily traversed section.
About a quarter mile from the Katy Trail intersection, you can also connect to the Centennial Greenway. This short section of that trail leads up to the St. Charles County Heritage Museum; ultimately, the developing Centennial Greenway will stretch 20 miles.
To reach Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, take I-270 to the Page Ave./MO 364 exit, heading west. On Page Avenue, take the second exit (Exit 17) to the Maryland Heights Expy. and turn right to go north. At the second stoplight, turn right (east) onto Creve Coeur Mill Road. After the railroad crossing, the Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park entrance will appear on the left. Several parking lots are available in the park.
To get to the parking lot just before the Katy Trail from MO 364, take Exit 14 and turn right (east) onto Arena Pkwy. After 0.4 mile, turn right onto South River Road, and then left into the parking lot.
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