Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Go in the fall. In July I got covered by seed ticks even wearing deet.
Whole loop was tracked as 12 miles by our phones. It took about 5.5 hours, 7 with breaks. Beautiful cold, delicious fresh spring in the back of the long loop. We were able to refill water bottles and wade our tired feet.
Some steep ups and downs. Terrain changes often from crushed rock, dirt, grass and back again.

This nature preserve had some pretty scenery, but even coated with bug spray head-to-toe and with multiple reapplications, I ended up with 48 mosquitos bites (but who’s counting?!). Seriously—it’s a very buggy, swampy hike. There was a constant buzzing / whirring sound in the distance—maybe farm equipment? We also heard numerous gunshots nearby. There were some trail markers, but without a phone/gps, we would have been pretty lost; even with it, we veered off course onto private property numerous times. Also note that Apple Maps directed us way off course and into the swamp (the AllTrails map to the trailhead is correct, however, so use that one!). This was probably my least favorite hike in the STL area.

I'm a local to this Park it's a favorite camping place of mine. the trail is a nice walk in the mornings. they reopened the restaurant and winery, good food at a decent price and they started renting small boats again. Camping, fishing and a good walk in the wilderness.

It was a beautiful trail, but poorly and confusingly marked. Even using the map here on Alltrails, somehow I wound up only going 2.3 miles. I suspect I missed a turn somewhere. More flashes, like in the state parks, would be helpful--

Great hike! Did the north loop today and it was great. Some parts of the trail were a little overgrown but nothing to crazy. Would love to go back and see what it looks like in later fall.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely would recommend, trail can get confusing. Easy to walk and even good if you wanted to run it!

I'll start with the positive...

Okay, now I'll share some of the disappointing aspects. This was a boring meander through an overgrown prairie. They call it Stemler Cave Woods, but there is no cave on the premises and no Stemlers. There was just woods...and for about half the trail, it wasn't even woods as much as large bushes. It felt like we were walking a random path someone mowed through the median of an interstate. Don't waste the time driving here if you aren't local. This is mislabeled at best.

Nice clear trails. Some wooded and shady, some grassy and sunny. Well kept. Saw toads, wildflowers, deer trails, and plenty of butterflies. Easy/moderate terrain. Little muddy at the start due to rains last night. One fallen tree about .6 miles in, but we climbed over.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. Climb or descent on river side

I would say 3.5 stars. Decent loop. Trail is sand and mud with .5 of the loop a narrow path with some erosion, mostly in trees and shaded. Fitbit said 9 floors climbed, only a bit up and down. Facilities include running water, a restaurant, a winery/bait shop - nice people. There are additional trails besides the loop.

3 months ago

I love this park so much. If you do both trails, it leads you to a beautiful scenery. One downside about St. Francois this year is the mosquitos, and ticks. We discovered at least 30 ticks on my dog and 10 on us each. If you find a really strong repellent, I suggest checking it out or waiting for cooler weather!

overgrown and trails are not well marked, picked up a few ticks as well. almost stepped on a snake, not sure if it was cotton mouth or rat snake... saw the tail, matches them both

hiking
4 months ago

An easy walk along a very thin trail. Took my two boys (8 and 12) and walked straight to the arch. We wandered around for a while trying to find a way to actually get on top, but didn’t want to wander through all of the undergrowth.

on Mantle Rock Trail

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome place just bring plenty of tick repellent if you hike it in warm weather.

6/2/18. Used Deep Woods Off for mosquitos and ticks. Still spent 4 hours waving away mosquitos, and my wife and I had literally about 2 dozen ticks on us at the end.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty and lots of options. There are a lot of different side trails in various levels of difficulty. Some are paved and some aren’t. I like the variety. We saw a snake on the path once.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a cool, windy little trail to utilize if you want to escape the overpopulation of the Creve Coeur Lake Loop. Here you're in and out of woods, constantly skirting the edge of civilization and nature. Lots of switchbacks but little elevation gain makes for a twisting, turning walk that stays interesting. The path is a great option to utilize without a long drive out of the suburbs.

Good trail, great for hiking and biking. A little confusing at times, needed more markers along the route.

hiking
6 months ago

Good path with or without a fishing pole. Lots of pretty wild rose bushes and columbine along the trail. Witnessed some wildlife in the past. Beware of litter left by knuckleheads fishing.

trail running
7 months ago

I’m not from the area so I’m not sure if it rained the day before, but the trail (after visiting the Arch) was too boggy to complete the full 2.6 miles. I was bummed about that, BUT the Arch was very cool and I had the place all to myself! Also, I’m part Cherokee, so it was humbling (in a beautiful way) be on a section of the Trail of Tears. Would love to give it try again in drier conditions!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! A little over 10 miles, completed it in 4 hours. Had some pretty decent inclines. Lots of creek access for the dogs. Will come back in cool weather.

hiking
7 months ago

Great little trail very close to the city. It's very windy to get the distance in because it's in a small park, but it's a lot of fun. There is the opportunity to go down by the lake via stairs, as well.

hiking
8 months ago

We started counterclockwise on the South Loop. Not very scenic, no overlooks. Continued onto the North Loop and there were some more scenic areas there around the little creeks and some small waterfalls after it rained. Several steep, butt kicking hills but good if you are looking for a bit of a workout.

8 months ago

Well maintained trail built by the local mtb club (GORC). Watch for bikes and step to the side to let them pass if you can. My garmin measured the whole loop around 5.4 miles.

Nice relaxing trail. Not the most scenic, but still enjoyable. My GPS read 10.75 mile with 1635 ft of elevation gain. The trail was rutted in places due to horse traffic.

Been 15yrs since last here and that was on a MTB. Still as rugged as I remembered. Good stuff though.

Easy to get to, challenging but not too hard, scenic, good elevation changes, well marked.

hiking
9 months ago

We always see deer when we hike this trail and today, an entire herd of them ran past us. The trail is pleasant and I enjoy it every time. It was very muddy today, which kept the bikers away.

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