Grant's Trail

Missouri

Grant's Trail Facts

States: Missouri
Counties: St. Louis
Length: 8 miles
Trail end points: Near Hoffmeister Ave. (Lemay) and Leffingwell Ave. at Holmes Ave. (Kirkwood)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016340
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Grant's Trail Description

Only 10 miles from the famed Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the 8-mile Grant's Trail is heavily used for recreation and commuting. The trail was named for the former President Ulysses S. Grant, and like the arch, is a monument to westward expansion—only the trail follows a former rail line that helped open up the West to settlement.

The trail corridor runs through several neighborhoods, often just behind people's backyards. Other sections are more wooded with views of ponds, wetlands and Gravois Creek, which it parallels. And there is no shortage of unique sights: Grant's Farm is home to the 1850s four-room log cabin the famed general and president built. Also calling the area home is a host of animals in a special park, including bison, elephants, camels, peacocks and more than 100 other species. The park's most iconic residents, of course, are the Budweiser Clydesdales, since the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch brewing company fame once owned Grant's Farm.

You'll find access to other historical sites along the trail, such 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.

At trail's end in Kirkwood, you'll find remnants of the town's roots in mid- to late 19th-century buildings, including the refurbished 1893 depot still in use today as an Amtrak train station. An on-street connection, part of the Great River Greenways' Bike St. Louis project, takes travelers from the trailhead to downtown Kirkwood and the depot. In an effort to make the city more bicycle friendly, more than 80 miles of these signed on-street Bike St. Louis routes are available throughout the city.

Plans to extend the trail farther are continuing. Nestled between the Meramec River to the west and the River des Peres to the east, Grant's Trail 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.

The trail currently ends only a mile from the River Des Peres Greenway Trail, which, in turn, will one day reach the Mississippi River Greenway, a major component of the River Ring.

Parking and Trail Access

From St. Louis, take I-55 south and exit at Union Road; turn left on Hoffmeister. From 270, take I-55 North and exit at Reavis Barracks Road; go left on Union and right on Hoffmeister.


Grant's Trail Reviews

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.

Accordion

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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