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Honoring former President Ulysses S. Grant, this flat and relaxed 7.9-mile trail is easily accessible from downtown St. Louis. Grant’s Trail is well maintained with plentiful restrooms and drinking water facilities along the way. The route accommodates both functional and recreational uses while facilitating a historically and visually engaging experience. While the trail does require the user to navigate many street crossings, they are well signaled to promote safety, including a four-way stop that gives bicyclists the same status as cars!
You’ll find access to several historical sites along the trail, including Grant’s Farm, home to the 1850s four-room log cabin that the famed general and president built, as well as White Haven, another home owned by Grant and now operated by the National Park Service. While at White Haven, Grant approved construction of the Pacific Railroad (later known as the Missouri Pacific Railroad) through his property. Ground was broken for the railway in 1851, and it was billed at the time as “The First Railroad West of the Mississippi.” Grant’s Trail is built on the former Kirkwood-Carondelet Branch of the rail line.
Starting from Orlando Gardens on the trail’s east end, wooded areas complemented by creek crossings create a delightful experience. After 1.3 miles, you’ll arrive at the former Trailnet office that sits trailside at 3900 Reavis Barracks Road. This community development organization, which took the lead in collaborating with local and state government entities to create the trail, invites you to stop at their trailside outdoor seating area, where you’ll also find restrooms and drinking water.
Just over 4 miles later, Grant’s Farm, featuring an animal park and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale pastures, will come up on your left. Just beyond Grant’s Farm, consider stopping at Whitecliff Park with its wooded trails and other recreational facilities. To get there, turn left when the trail intersects Pardee Road; after only a tenth of a mile on this residential road, you’ll see the entrance sign for the park.
Two miles farther down the trail, you’ll cross I-44 on a bike-pedestrian bridge. If you’re up for more riding, you can continue pedaling on-road into downtown Kirkwood. From the trailhead, head north on South Holmes Avenue for 0.6 mile and turn left onto East Argonne Drive. In 0.8 mile, you’ll arrive at Kirkwood Station, a renovated 1893 depot, which is still in use today as an Amtrak train station.
Plans to extend the trail farther are continuing. Grant’s Trail is part of the larger Gravois Creek Greenway and plays an increasingly key link in the River Ring, a growing 600-mile network of interconnected trails and on-street bicycle routes throughout the St. Louis region. As of September 2017, construction is underway to connect the eastern end of Grant's Trail to the River Des Peres Greenway Trail.
To reach the Orlando Gardens trailhead from St. Louis, take I-55 south and exit at Union Road; then turn left onto Hoffmeister Ave. After a short distance, you will see the large parking lot on your right.
To reach the Kirkwood trailhead from St. Louis, take I-44 to Exit 279 for Berry Road; keep left at the fork to continue toward S. Berry Road. Turn left onto S. Berry Road, then right onto Big Bend Blvd. After 0.6 mile, turn right onto Melshire Ave. and, after 0.2 mile, take a right onto Holmes Ave. Very shortly thereafter, the trailhead parking lot will appear on your left.
An added bonus is the trail passes by the Clydesdale stables at Grant's Farm, and I have seen the young foals come up to the fence on a couple of my rides. This is one of those bike trails that's close to everything but sometimes makes you feel like you're getting away from it all.
Great trail when not congested. Electric light intersections are plentiful and some can take a bit longer than others, but bearable. About 3-4. A total of about 2-3 stop sign intersection. Not my favorite, but my "go to" trail for convenience. 8/10
Lots of riders but good use of trail throughout the experience. No problems even though it was fairly busy in the early evening. Would recommend. Lots of parking options. Appeared safe. Nice side trails too. Pretty scenery overall.
Scenery is nice. Passes by a national historical site. Trail is maintained and well marked. Minimal street crossings. Quiet and away from traffic in most parts.
Very busy and the fact that you have to stop for traffic messes with you getting into a groove at times. Very pretty though...and I will be back to see if I can connect with some of the other Great River Greenway trails...16 miles round trip made it a pretty quick ride.
Great surface to ride bikes or rollerblade on. Very busy on the weekend. Overall a great trail, especially for the family.
We took our 1st ride starting at Hwy. 44 and took it all the way by Grants Farm. Never knew it was next to the trail. What a great gide. Looking forward to doing the other haft soon. Thanks to everyone on the trail, you guys and gals were all so nice to us and the trail looked great and clean.
At the Kirkwood Trailhead Leffingwell & Holmes, another 2 miles was added on Street with Bike Saint Louis Signing, going through downtown Kirkwood by the Farmers Market, The Amtrak Station, then West to the Kirkwood Park, marked with information signs, Share the Road signs, and Sharrows painted on the street.
"Since gas prices continue to escalate, why go and fuel your car up when you can use the trail. It's a non-polluting way to get to work or to go to Grant's Farm for an outing or to go to Crestwood Mall for shopping or dining. And now it is fully paved all the way to Pardee Road, and there are plans to pave the rest of the trail to I-44. There are also future plans to link it up with a trail in Fenton."
" Easy to ride for all levels of experience. Flat,asphalt for entire length from Tesshire to Orlando Gardens. I use it a lot to link up with other intersections for longer rides. "
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