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The Meramec Greenway Trail is planned to one day encompass 60 miles of pathway throughout St. Louis and west to Pacific, Missouri, connecting residents to the Meramec River, the city's parks and the area's natural treasures. Currently, four segments of the trail are complete, totaling more than 13 miles. From west to east, these sections are outlined below.
Segment 1: Al Foster Memorial Trail to St. Paul Road
The greenway begins with the Al Foster Memorial Trail, which heads north along the Meramec River. This section has a crushed stone surface and is heavily wooded with views of the river and limestone bluffs. Watch for glimpses of the many white-tailed deer and woodpeckers that call the surrounding woodlands home. Where the river curves and begins heading east, the greenway connects to the Hamilton Carr Trail, which takes travelers past the La Salle Institute campus and up to the Rockwoods Reservation.
Segment 2: Arnold's Grove to Greentree Park
This segment of the trail is flat, paved and just over 3 miles from Arnold's Grove to Greentree Park along the north bank of the river. Greentree Park offers a picnic shelter, boat ramp, athletic fields and, for the young at heart, a remote-controlled car track. Mid-way, trail-goers can also cross Marshall Road to enter Simpson Park, a forested area with a large lake where wild turkeys, barred owls and coyotes can be found.
Segment 3: Unger Park to Fenton
This flat, paved segment begins in Unger Park, where herons, egrets and other waterfowl can frequently be found in the park's shallow lake. This is also a relaxing spot for picnicking, fishing or playing disc golf. The path travels south along the river until it reaches Riverside Drive, where it takes a sharp turn west, following the road along residential areas. Mid-trail, you'll pass Fenton City Park, where you can stop for restrooms and water, or continue south to Olde Towne Fenton.
Segment 4: Holzer Park Road to Meramec Bottom Road
This short, but enjoyable, 2-mile segment is located within the county's Lower Meramec Park. It passes through forested bottomlands and offers river vistas. Birdwatchers should note that herons, geese and eagles may be spotted here.
Segment 1: Parking can be found on the trail's western end, where it intersects the Hamilton Carr Trail. A parking lot can also be found near this section's eastern end, south of St. Paul Road on the north bank of the Meramec River.
Segment 2: From State Route 141, turn west on Marshall Road, then south (toward the river) on Arnold Drive; the road will dead-end at the western trailhead and parking lot. Mid-trail, you can also park in Meramec Landing Park off River Drive, or in Simpson Park (1234 Marshall Road). At the eastern tip of the trail, a large parking lot is available off Marshall Road in Greentree Park.
Segment 3: A parking lot can be found at the northern trailhead in Unger Park (500 Yarnell Road), mid-trail at Fenton City Park (1215 Larkin Williams Road), and at the trail's southern end off Deer Lodge Road.
Segment 4: A parking lot is available at either end of the trail, both just south of Meramec Bottom Road: the Lower Meramec Trailhead on Holzer Park Road and the I-55 Trailhead off Krumm Road.
This is my new favorite trail. We'd done the Rock Hollow portion before, but had never ventured past it. The Al Foster Trail was beautiful and pretty much completely flat. It was fun to see the miniature trains full of people along the route as well. This trail is top on my list!
We enjoyed this trail very much! Unfortunately it was a 1/2 mile too short for what we needed, but lovely paths that go through shade, sunny spots, and nice views of the river. It was a gorgeous day and while the trail had lots of activity, it didn't feel crowded at all! PLENTY of benches about every 1/3 mile to rest and relax. An absolute treasure!
First ride on the trail, I believe was segment 2, exceeded our expectations. Second ride was just as enjoyable. The first ride was during the week with thoughts the trial would not be very busy. It wasn't so we were able to take it all in.
The second ride was on a late Saturday morning. We expected the trail to be busy it wasn't. I believe it may have to do with the length of the trails and all the many areas to pull off and take break to enjoy the views.
I'm sure we will put this trail on top of our list.
first segment (Al Foster) trail is so gorgeous. perfect for lone bikers/walkers/runners and connects easily to Hamilton Carr trail at NW end and mid way roughly on western portion has the Rock Hollow trail. families...weekends in May-Oct the railroad runs [$4 donation] and is fun for kids. Trail is primarily gravel but is well maintained and is great for beginning bikers [even this 60+ new biker] and longtime bikers ...take the Stinging Nettle trail over to Castlewood to get some off road biking in. Excellent fun!!
We've traveled segment 2 from 141 to Simpson Lake and loved it. Will continue to go back. Kid friendly and very scenic.
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