Edward James Roberts once owned the land that is now Robertsville State Park. As one of the largest landowners in Franklin County at the time, the surrounding area became known as Robertsville. The Roberts family took advantage of the area's rich bottomland soils and its proximity to water to establish a very successful farm. In the early 1900s, many St. Louis residents were attracted to a resort near Robertsville known as Meramec Terrace. The Meramec River, which provided a wide variety of recreational opportunities, was the highlight of many weekend escapes from city life. The Great Depression and World War II contributed to the decline of the weekend resort community. Today, the land and the river attract visitors to Robertsville State Park. The 1,225-acre park features a variety of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages, including canoeing and fishing in the adjoining Meramec River. The shaded picnic area near the boat launch offers views of the Meramec and the surrounding scenic bluffs. Located near the entrance to the park, the large day-use area features two picnic shelters that are available for group reservation, several individual picnic sites and a playground. For those wishing to spend a night or more in the park, well-shaded basic and electric campsites are nestled among the wooded hills.
This is my workout every morning with my faithful companion, Chester. Plenty of peaks and valleys to get your heart pumping - can easily be done in 45 minutes at a fairly steady pace. Lots of beautiful sites and wildlife scurrying around. The oxbow slough is my absolute favorite area of this trail - just beautiful. In the spring, the East side of the trail smells delightful thanks to a nice stand of Ohio Buckeyes. A well maintained trail - my husband and I volunteer our time to help maintain it. Tack on the Spice Bush Trail and you have a solid 5K hike/walk/run. This is Missouri, so fair warning, if you are running keep your eyes cast down for the rocky areas. :)
Lost Hill Trail winds through the only uplands in the park. “Lost Hill” received its name from the upland hill that has been detached from other ridges or uplands by erosion. The woodlands along the trail contain a mix of plants adapted to the dry rocky soils as well as areas with more lush vegetation. Hiking the north side of the trail provides an excellent view of an old oxbow slough of Calvey Creek, and extend down into the bottomlands surrounded by pawpaw trees. The two trailheads provide a great connection between the campground and Spicebush Trail.
Spice Bush Trail travels through the Meramec River’s floodplain along slightly elevated terraces to the nearby level woodland floor where red-headed woodpeckers frequently feed and often nests. In late April, bluebells bloom in profusion along much of this hiking trail. Along the journey, three bridges cross a perennial stream but after a good rain, other small drainages can make it a wet and slippery hike. The trail passes through a rich bottomland area with a mixed herbaceous ground cover below tall sycamore, ash, pawpaw and black cherry trees. The dominant underbrush is spice bush, which gives the trail its name.