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The Greater St. Louis area is dominated by the “Great Rivers.” While the Mississippi River gets most of the attention, the Missouri River is not one to be taken for granted. An emerging trail system along the Missouri is forming, which offers more than 10 miles of paved trail in two disconnected sections. The Monarch-Chesterfield Levee Trail provides an interesting way to see the river and to get around the developing suburb of Chesterfield.
Beginning at Centaur Road on the western end of the longer segment, you are immediately high above the surrounding landscape on top of the levee. A wonderfully maintained asphalt surface is a constant enjoyment along this trail. Sights include farm fields and heavy timber at the river’s edge, as well as some great airplane viewing, as you are very close to the Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
A retail shopping center comes into view as you near I-64. The trail heads under the interstate, but it’s worth noting that there’s a trail separated from traffic on the interstate bridge over the Missouri River that you could take to meet the Katy Trail State Park on the other side.
Once under the bridge, the trail takes you back on top of the levee and through the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, where you’ll find baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and plenty of parking. At this park is a rest area with benches and artistically designed shade structures, which are good to take advantage of as there’s not much naturally occurring shade to be found on the levee. After another 3 miles of farm fields and retail establishments, you’ll arrive at the end of this section of trail behind the Hardee’s Iceplex.
Just on the other side of US 61/I-64, along Bonhomme Creek, is the shorter, 2.5-mile segment of the trail. Traveling east to west, this stretch of trail parallels Edison Avenue and allows easy access to a myriad of shopping, dining, and entertainment establishments that dominate this area. A mural greets trail users right after the Baxter Road crossing. While this trail is in a very busy area, the creek and surrounding riparian corridor allow for some interesting bird sightings along the way. The trail ends at a well-developed trailhead not far from a commercial area of the city.
The closest parking lot to the west end of the trail is located 4.2 miles east of the terminus. To reach the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex trailhead, from I-64, take Exit 14 toward Spirit of St. Louis Blvd. At the traffic circle, take the exit onto N. Outer 40 Road. Take an immediate turn north and then east into the athletic field parking area and trailhead.
To reach the Hardee’s Iceplex trailhead from I-64, take Exit 17 for Boones Crossing and turn north. Turn east onto N. Outer 40 Road and go 0.9 mile to Hardee’s Iceplex, on the north side of the road with the trailhead in the back.
To reach the Edison Ave. trailhead from I-64, take Exit 17 for Boones Crossing and turn south. Turn west onto Chesterfield Airport Road and travel 0.9 mile. Turn south onto Long Road. Go 0.3 mile and turn east onto Edison Avenue. The trailhead is immediately on the south side of the road.
The Monarch trail is closed until sometime next year.
Not a bad trail. Very wide and lightly traveled during the week. I like flat trails even though the wind and sun can mess with you at times. There are many prettier trails in West St Louis County, but this one is still good for a steady peddling workout.
Also, the bridge over the Missouri River (I-64 bridge) is temporarily closed.
A construction worker from the sewer district said the trail would be closed until March 2018 - the closed section is between the Boone's crossing bridge and the Chesterfield Valley Athletic complex. You can bypass the closed section by using gravel roads to connect to "North outer forty road". Ride on this road for about 1/2 mile to bypass the closed trail section.
Also, the bridge over the Missouri river is also closed. So you can't get to St. Charles County or the Katy Trail. I'm not sure the duration of this closing, but it does not look like a major project
Noisy noisy noisy highway right up against it!
Busy, boring, straight, flat, and the path(s) are mostly along the top of a levee, so it slopes off rapidly on both sides.
If there is any wind whatsoever you'll get the full brunt of it, possibly more due to the updrafts from the slopes.
Do not take a younger kids here.
There are several other better options nearby, take a pass on this one.
I really like this trail for my skill at roller skating and age. I start at the Hardees end and skate to near the river where it starts to go downhill. I then turn around and return to my start point. As a result, i skate about 10 miles. I am surprised how little it is used; I rarely encounter other users. I've used this trail 3 times and when weather gets warmer, i will use it more often. There are several locations where trucks/cars enter the flood plain; as a result, there might be pieces of gravel to skate around. But I have been lucky and have had no accidents. Pretty good for a 70 year old lady.
This is a great paved trail. I read the reviews and the warnings that the part that goes under the bridge was closed. I was pleased to find all current 10.4 completed miles open. I would like to return and ride the loop when they complete the entire loop. I will ride this trail again soon.
The western end of the trail is closed at the Missouri River Bridge so you can't cross to the south side of Interstate 64 (highway 40) yet. But there is still 6 or 8 miles of trail (all asphalt) on top of the levee on the north side of I-64 (south side of the Missouri River) from the Hardees ice complex at the east to the bridge at the western end.
This is a good trail for fast riders. Very flat. With the addition of crossing the Mo. river connecting this trail to the KATY trail adds further to its' value. However, it is disjointed with the eastern end cutoff from the southern isolated section. Why can't this be connected? I had read where the money was allocated a few years ago, but no progress has been made. Another improvement would be to run the trail northward along the levy connecting the Page Extension trail. This would give riders a fantastic circular ride to connect to the Katy trail and back and to Creve Coeur Park trail systems. I feel the St. Louis County trail systems fall short and this could enhance the ridership and experience.
The trail now extends an additional 4 miles by going under the bridge and south. In total if you run the trail as a loop it's about 16 miles. They are also working to extend the trail to circle the entire valley. It's all new pavement and plenty of parking by the Chesterfield parks department and ball fields.
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