Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Illinois, Missouri

15 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

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

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Description


The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge links two states–Illinois and Missouri—as the mile-long bridge crosses the Mississippi River. The bridge carries bikes and pedestrians between the two states.  

About the Route 

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge offers a scenic view of the Mississippi River, the St. Louis skyline, and the water intake towers in the river. The bridge opened to traffic in 1929 and takes a 30-degree turn midway through while it sits more than 60 feet above the Mississippi River.   


At the bridge’s Missouri side, the bridge intersects with the St. Louis Riverfront Trail.   

Trail History 

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was part of the renowned Route 66 and gets its name from the river’s 17 miles of rocky shoals south of the bridge, now covered by a low-water dam. The bridge was originally going to be built as a straight shot across the river, but after multiple discussions with captains on the river, both parties decided the bridge needed to bend. Crews began construction on the bridge in 1927, and after a series of floods and ice, the bridge was opened to vehicle traffic in July 1929. Route 66 was rerouted over the bridge in 1936, but 32 years later, officials closed the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge to traffic. 

Parking and Trail Access

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge runs between St. Louis, Missouri, and Madison, Illinois. Parking is available on the Illinois side at 4205-4207 Chain of Rocks Rd. 

Please see the TrailLink Map for detailed directions. 


Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Reviews

Open as of late October 2023

Construction at the Missouri end of the bridge has led to some closures. There is a new park and trailhead facility being built in 2024; I haven't seen what the plans are to keep the bridge and connecting trail open during that phase. Parking on the Illinois side is plentiful.

This was a very nice addition to a ride along the levee in Illinois when I first rode across it around 2012. A decade later the displays are showing their age though the information on them is still readable and worthwhile, as is a ride along the original Route 66 surface that's almost 90 years old!

Gate Locked

Sign says opened from 9:00am til Dusk. It was 5:30 pm with 3 hours til dusk. But the gate was locked and no notice of why. Frustrating since I was passing through and this was my only chance to go across this historic bridge

About that STL Trailhead at Biddle Street

I’m a rookie road cyclist (like 2 days of experience) and appreciated being able to figure out my bike cleats with minimal cross traffic stopping or ANY stops for that matter. I think the trail sharing industrial areas is ok. I did need a friendly cyclist to point the way to trail, and even then I made wrong turns. I recommend painting a line from the Biddle lot to the flood gate to get visitors on trail. The highlight for me was crossing Chain of Rocks Bridge. Great view of the Big Muddy!

closed to the public

We tried to walk on the bridge and the gate was locked with no sign posted notifying of a reason for the closure.


Rode the Chain of Rocks Bridge ¿¿

Parked on the Missouri side. Nothing “bad” happened, as is hinted by some comments and advisories. Nice bike ride, and I will be going back.

Park in Illinois

I saw the reviews about where to park and want to report what we found (July 29018 on a Weds afternoon). At the base of the bridge on the Missouri side the parking area is locked at the road entrance and based on the signage, may be open for special events. The bridge has gates that can be closed and signs said it is locked overnight. We drove south on Riverview Drive, hoping to park at the north end of the Chain of Rocks/Blase Park. However, in that parking area, there were several junky cars with people sitting in them and cases of empty beer cans/bottles. There was construction equipment and it looked like they were patching/replacing the parking surface but no workers were present. We didn't feel safe parking there so we drove over to the Illinois side, getting off the first exit and following the Chain of Rocks Road quite a distance and over a bridge until we came to the designated parking area for the bridge right at the base of the bridge. It had a different feel with several people parking to walk on bridge with their pets.

We rode over the bridge and followed the Riverfront Trail down through the Chain of Rocks/Blase Park on the Missouri side until we got into industrial area and then returned - about 9 miles round-trip. At one point (to avoid the water treatment plant) the trail crosses Riverside Drive and it is rather steep through the woods but otherwise the trail is rather flat and paved. At the southern end of the Park, they were actively doing construction in the parking area. Hopefully, both parking areas in the park on the MO side will be safe places for parking and connection to the bridge path - otherwise, your best option is parking in Illinois.

scenic and fun!

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.

Monumental Part of Childhood

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.

Historic Route 66 Trail

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...!

Very scenic, short ride or walk

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.

Great History. Great Views. Great Connections.

* 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.

Great trrail but park in IL

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

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

"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

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.