Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Illinois, Missouri

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Facts

States: Illinois, Missouri
Counties: Madison, St. Louis
Length: 1 miles
Trail end points: Chain of Rocks Rd. on Chouteau Island (Madison, IL) and St. Louis Riverfront Trail at Riverview Dr. (St. Louis, MO)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032423
Trail activites: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Description

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was part of the renowned Route 66 and crosses a scenic stretch of the Mississippi River. It links two states—Illinois and Missouri—north of St. Louis. The bridge is short and narrow, only 1 mile long by 24 feet wide, but it now carries bikes and pedestrians instead of cars across the river. On the Missouri side, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge connects to the St. Louis Riverfront Trail. In Illinois, travel a short distance east on Chain of Rocks Road to reach the Eagle Points Trail and Madison County Transit Confluence Trail.

Chain of Rocks gets its name from the river's rocky shoals south of the bridge. From the bridge deck you'll get stupendous views of the St. Louis skyline and the Mississippi River. The water-intake towers here rise above the river like half-submerged castle turrets and classic Route 66 memorabilia is displayed on the Missouri side. Interpretive signs tell the Route 66 story and the history of the bridge.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is not advised at the Missouri trail end. To get to the Illinois trail end from I-270, take Exit 3 onto State Route 3 South/Lewis and Clark Boulevard. At the first stoplight, turn right onto Chain of Rocks Road and continue 2.2 miles to parking at the end of the road.

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Reviews

parked on the IL side and walked across the bridge....very fun, although it was pretty windy. the views of the river and downtown are amazing and there is also some Rte 66 memorabilia along the bridge. I will definitely visit again and perhaps explore the riverfront trail more.

During my childhood growing up in Oklahoma, we would travel to St. Louis to visit relatives via old Route 66, which included going over The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. I can remember being scared of the bend, because I thought we were going to go off the bridge and into the river below.

Reminiscing about old times within the past five years, I remembered the old bridge and looked it up. Preparing a trip to Tennessee, I asked my daughter if she would humor me and help me find the bridge on our way. We found it and I will tell you that I cannot describe the feeling I had as we walked the entire length and back. I felt it was part of me, part of my childhood, and I was elated to find it. I am SO glad that it has been preserved and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. I am planning to visit the bridge again within the next couple of weeks. If I lived there, I would definitely be bicycling on it daily.

Accordion

Great little trail with history behind it. Beautiful view of the Mississippi. My girlfriend and I paired it with the St. Louis River Front Trail for a 24+ mile round trip ride. Definitely best to park on the IL side. Happy riding...!

This is a nice short trail over the old Chain of Rocks Bridge. Along the way, you can learn some about historic Route 66 and look out over the Mississippi River.

* Of all the times I've crossed the I-270 bridge and seen this aged Queen of the River Crossings just to the south, this was my first time to bike across it. What a treat! And then to come home a read up on all its unique history and features in the Related Content here.. WOW!
** The views of the river from the bridge are more than you can imagine. The water intake towers. The low-water dam. The "chain of rocks" itself. Just to imagine..the Bald Eagles fishing in the open waters of the dam when the rest of the river is covered with ice in the middle of winter!
*** Another reviewer wrote about the connected bike loop: Rocks-Riverfront-McKinley-Confluence. Add to that the Eagle Points Trail along the shipping canal, right here on the east side of Chouteau Island. That makes five great trails all in a great day's ride on America's Great River.

Cars get broken into on the MO side on a regular basis. There is now a real nice parking lot on the IL side. This is a really neat bridge. You can also now do a loop. Go across the bridge and take the Riverfront Trail to the new trail across the McKinley Bridge. As of October 2010, the Confluence trail now connects with the trail across the McKinley Bridge, you can follow the Confluence trail until you get to the bridge you crossed to get to the Chain of Rocks Bridge. There is a bike lane across the bridge. Then you can drive the raod back to the parking lot.

I toured this fabulous bridge in September, 2009. Beautiful panoramic views to say the least and really enjoyed the trip on U.S. Rt. 66; great memorabilia on the bridge. Met people from France, Germany, East St. Louis and Wisconsin. We're from Washington, Pa. and had a nice ride. At the time, parking was only allowed on the East St. Louis, Ill. side as vandalism to vehicles was happening on the Missouri side. Bud Halpin

"Peddled this interesting Bridge 18 Aug 06, A Policeman gave some tourist a talk about the bridge and area. It started to rain on my return from the Illinois side, and a Public Service Man helped me load the Tri-Cruiser in my van."

Nearby Trails

St. Louis Riverfront Trail

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The St. Louis Riverfront Trail follows the Mississippi River on the Missouri side, from Gateway Arch heading north to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, part ...

Eagle Points Trail

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Caution: While construction continues on the new I-270 bridge over the Mississippi River, be alert for trail restrictions or closings north of the parking ...

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Caution: Trail closures are occurring in two areas along the southern half of this trail: 1) near the construction site of the new I-270 bridge over the ...

Accordion

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