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The Meramec Greenway Trail is planned to one day encompass 50 miles throughout the St. Louis metro region, expanding as far west as Pacific, Missouri. The scenic route connects residents to the Meramec River and many parks in the region as it winds along the river and limestone bluffs, and through woodlands and the heart of several communities. Just over 20 miles of the greenway are open in the five disconnected segments outlined below from west to east.
In Eureka, the trail begins at Lions Park, which offers parking, restrooms, and picnic pavilions. From there, the paved trail heads west for 2.7 miles, ending at the much larger Route 66 State Park. Over an expanse of more than 400 acres, the park offers hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails, as well as river access for boating and fishing.
North of Eureka, another segment of the trail begins in the small community of Glencoe and spans nearly 6 miles; you’ll find a trailhead with parking at the end of Grand Avenue. This section of the greenway, known as the Al Foster Memorial Trail, has a crushed-stone surface and is heavily wooded.
As you travel east along the river from the trailhead, you’ll follow the route of the former Missouri Pacific Railroad and enjoy the sight of soaring limestone cliffs and perhaps wildlife, especially white-tailed deer. If you head north from the trailhead (away from the river), you will be on the Hamilton-Carr Greenway, which takes travelers past the La Salle Institute campus and toward the Rockwoods Reservation. Farther along, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect to the Rock Hollow Trail. From there, the Al Foster Memorial Trail heads southeast, crossing under an active railroad trestle and entering Sherman Beach Park, where there’s another trailhead with parking. The trail continues east to its end in Castlewood State Park.
After a gap, the trail picks up again in the city of Valley Park. This segment is paved and stretches 3.5 miles from the Arnold’s Grove trailhead to Greentree Park in Kirkwood along the north bank of the river. Wonderful river views, a public boat launch, and distinct orange-hued sand make it a memorable experience. For the young at heart, Greentree Park also offers a remote-controlled car track. Midway, you can cross Marshall Road to enter Simpson Park, which encompasses forested areas and a large lake. You’ll also find restrooms and water here.
On the other side of the river, 6 more miles of paved trail roll out from Unger Memorial County Park, where herons, egrets, and other waterfowl can frequently be found in the park’s shallow lake. South of the park, you’ll pass a major soccer park and then a baseball complex before traveling under the interstate and into the town of Fenton. A short section of the route is on-road along Riverside Drive before becoming trail again in Fenton City Park, where you can stop for restrooms and water. The trail ends at George Winter Park on the banks of the Meramec River.
The last open segment is a paved, 2-mile section completely within the county’s Lower Meramec Park. Thick river lowland forest dominates this trail. Waterfowl and other wildlife are plentiful here. Trailheads with parking are available at either end of the segment.
To reach the western end of the trail in Eureka’s Lions Park from I-44 eastbound, take Exit 264 for MO 109 S. After traveling 0.8 mile on MO 109, turn right onto Legends Pkwy. After 0.1 mile, turn right onto Bald Hill Road. Travel north on the roadway for 0.3 mile to the parking lot in the park, which will be on your right.
To reach the Al Foster Memorial Trail from I-44/US 50 in Eureka, take Exit 264 for MO 109 N. Follow MO 109 for 2.9 miles, then turn right onto Old State Road. Take the next right onto Washington Ave., which becomes Grand Ave.; stay on the roadway, traveling 0.4 mile to the trailhead parking lot, which will be on your left.
To reach the Arnold’s Grove trailhead from I-44, take Exit 272 and merge onto MO 141 N. Travel 1 mile, just past the bridge over the Meramec River, and turn left onto Marshall Road. Take an immediate left turn onto Meramec Station Road, heading south. The trailhead is at the end of the road.
To reach the George Winter Park trailhead in Fenton from I-270, take Exit 3 for MO 30/Gravois Road. Turn left onto Gravois Road and then take an immediate left turn onto Weber Hill Road, followed by a quick right turn onto Gravois Road. Travel 2.2 miles west and cross the river into Fenton. Take a left onto S. Old Highway 141 and follow it south for 0.6 mile. Turn left onto Allen Road and go 0.5 mile. Turn left (east) toward the river, followed by a hard left turn onto Deer Lodge Road. The trailhead is at a dead end just ahead.
To reach the trail in Lower Meramec Park from I-55, take Exit 193 for Meramec Bottom Road. Turn right onto Meramec Bottom Road, then take your next left onto Krumm Road, which will dead-end at the park’s parking lot.
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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