The beauty of the Meramec River and its surrounding bluffs, caves and forests have pleased visitors since the park opened in 1927. In 1933, the craftsmen of the Civilian Conservation Corps began blending a variety of visitor facilities into the park's rugged landscape. This popular 6,896-acre park offers year-round access to camping, picnicking and trails. Guided tours of Fisher Cave, one of more than 40 caves in the park, are provided on a seasonal basis for a nominal fee. Water enthusiasts will enjoy swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing in the Meramec River. Weekdays offer substantially more solitude than weekends. Additional facilities include a park store that offers raft and canoe rentals, campsites (including three group sites), rental cabins, motel rooms and a conference center. Some services and facilities are only available on a seasonal basis. Meramec State Park's visitor center offers a mix of educational exhibits including large aquariums that display the amazing variety of aquatic life found in the river. Here, guests can orient themselves to the park's many permanent and seasonal attractions and facilities before venturing out into the park.
We hiked this trail yesterday which was a very humid day (found out later humidity made heat index 101) so made the trail more challenging. Not very picturesque but was a nice hike. Our first time hiking in Missouri so we enjoyed looking at the diverse rocks along the trail. Really like the rock creek beds. Would do trail again if we are in the area.
Decided to hike this trail clockwise around the loop on what seemed like the hottest day in June. Overall this trail was great but did have a few downfalls. The vegetation along the trail was pretty heavy in quite a few spots and I came across a few downed trees that were laying on the trail which required me to go off trail and find an alternate way around. That being said these were not huge issues to me and really didn't impact my opinion of the trail. What did make a difference was the number of mosquitos along the back half of the trail so make sure to bring some bug spray to re-apply after you hit copper hollow spring. Now for the good. There was plenty of animal life around. I saw quite a few deer and there were a few warning signs to tie up your food in a tree because of bears and other critters so I assume they are somewhat common in the area. All the campsites seemed good and all had fire rings set up. The best ones seemed to be sites 5, 6, and 7. Those were relatively close to a stream where you could re-fill your water bottles (of course you should always treat your water before drinking it). Just past campsite 7 was a small natural spring which was a great place for my dog and me to stop and hang out for a little while. A little while after that was copper hollow spring which was really the highlight of the trail. This spring fed a small creek which flowed all the way out to the Meramec River. Once the trail navigates away from the spring fed creek the trail seemed to open up a little. I passed multiple "breaks" in the forrest into a few hillsides covered in prairie grass. There were also more oaks and bigger trees on this half of the hike (this is where the mosquitos were bad). The final campsite was also good although the nearby creek bed was completely dry so not a great place for water. All in all this was a great hike and I would like to come back in the fall as I think I would be able to give 4 stars then but for now we will stick with 3.
Sara M. on Sheep's Cave Trail
used to come here as a kid, took my daughter. still a good time
Sara M. on Wilderness Trail Long Loop
We needed more time than we allotted to hike it, but my 8 year old kept up and we'd go again just learn to take water and power bars. I misread the length oops.
I would rate this trail as easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. We hiked the trail clockwise. A majority of the first half of the trail followed creek bottoms and washouts. The trail was very narrow and overgrown in spots. There were also a number of downed trees. I lost track of how many creek beds we crossed. I would not recommend hiking after a significant rain. The water was down when we went and there were a couple of spots that took a some good leaps to cross. The second half of the hike was more moderate. Most of the elevation change was in the last couple of miles. I think this is a better hike in the early spring or late fall than it would be late spring and summer when the greenery around the trail starts to grow out. It may be worth another trip in mid-April for Morel Mushroom hunting in the creek bottoms and washouts. It was an OK hike mainly because of the distance. We completed the 8.5 miles in just under 3 hours.
Backpacked this trail solo this weekend. Was able to find the first camp in the dark, so at least the first leg is reasonably navigable in low light. The trail is easy to follow though not wide. The published map (see state website) is pretty accurate to the track I recorded. I camped at Camp 1 & 8 over night. Each camp had room for 3-4 tents (1-2 hammocks in prepared area).
Fire pits could use a cleaning out, I had to dig out room to get a fire under the grill.
Amy L. on Wilderness Trail Long Loop
Great trail, it crossed a creek about 20 times but they are wet weather creeks. Very neat to do in late fall without leaves on the trees, we were able to see so much more and the cave was neat!
The GPS directions pushed us a little farther than the cave. If you're coming from 44, you go past the visitor's center and there will be campground on your right. Go to the end of the campground and make a left, then another and you come to a row of 4 cabins. The cave is right behind the cabin farthest to the right (the first one you come to). The cave is much deeper than 200 yards! There are basically three main sections, and you have to crawl to get to the back 2 second but it's worth it. There are some cool formations in the back sections. Unfortunately, nearly every single stalagtite is broken off. This cave has been well explored, and it's a great example of why we should all be careful of our effects on nature. The trail itself to the cave is maybe a hundred feet from the cabin, but the cave is at least 400-500 yards deep. Bring headlamps and clothes you don't mind getting muddy. Knee pads and gloves are a good idea too.
Amy L. on Meramec State Park Campground and B...
Beautiful scenic trails although not well maintained- lots of trees and branches down on the trails or I would've given 5 stars! We completed the Deer Hollow Trail to Fisher Cave and Bluff View trail, the trailheads are at same parking lot, for a total of 4.2 miles!