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This park is a gem!

Nice trail. Marked well. Went on a Friday morning, saw several other hikers/runners. Beautiful view overlooking the Missouri River. Good workout. Enjoyed it a lot.

Definitely bring bug spray!!! Trail head said 2.5 miles but is about 5. Trail is nice, shaded for hot day and is very quiet. Just doesn’t have scenery besides woods. Would be better in fall

I enjoyed the rocky terrain of the trail. I didn’t care for the busy road noise right next to the trail.

I did the CCW hike as most people recommend. I started out at 11 a.m. on a Friday and the parking lot was about three-quarters full from the morning hikers. By the time I completed my hike in the mid-afternoon, there were only six other cars in the lot.

The last time I hiked this trail was about 3 or 4 years ago. Since then some of the benches have been updated. In fact, it seems there were more benches than the last time I did this circuit. Often the benches were strategically-placed at the top of a ridge that you might have just ascended on the CCW circle. Great work MDC!

Mosquitoes and gnats were an issue but no more than any other hike I've done locally this summer. I didn't encounter any standing water. All of the creek beds were dry. I probably encountered about 20 different people on the trail. Most were hikers and about 4 trail runners.

My GPS tracking via Alltrails showed my hike to be 6.2 miles. I'm a slow walker so It took me about 2.25 hours walking time. But I made a lot of stops so my complete trail time was just over 3 hours. Love this trail and hope to do it again in the fall for the better Missouri River views.

very nice trail, but not clearly marked once you are off in canyon part. very beautiful scenery and wildlife

Beautiful, but if you do the entire thing, not just the small paved trails, I would rate it as moderate. we have done moderate trails that were easier than this.

25 days ago

We happened to hit this trail the day of a trail race. Everything was super well marked for the runners, and we had a cheering section when we finished!

Views of the Missouri along the bluffs were nice - bet they’d be even prettier in the spring or fall!

very shaded hike with a lot of butterflies and a few decent views. The trail is full of spider webs if you take the Lewis at the fork but still a nice hike

Can someone fix the website....The directions address is not right...it takes you to 94 Shaw Ct, which is a cul-de-sac off of Page Ave. The map itself is right, which is crazy, but the address is wrong on the directions link. :(

great hike. excellent scenery and well marked.

Beautiful hike. I would rate as moderate. LOTS of mosquitos, spiders, and tall grass and over growth. I would think it would be much better in early spring. Dogs are not allowed. The falls and scenery were very pretty.

Really nice trail that is convenient to St. Louis (and close to the burbs). I went trail running today, in the midst of hot and humid Missouri summer. The trail was perfectly shady with off-shoots to view the river from the bluffs. I ran the 5.3ish Clark trail and only had to walk partly up one ascent so the hills were reasonable for an experienced runner and a nice work out. The trail narrows near the fork between the two trails but was easy to navigate. I found the signage acceptable knowing to keep an eye out for trail markers. The trail was not terribly busy mid-Saturday morning but the parking lot was full. Highly recommend!

great park to hike at, good scenery and probably the quietest parks i've ever been too. The biggest problem I had was not wearing any bug repellent and the park even has a sign at the trailhead saying to wear repellent. But I continued anyway and when I got home later that day the amount of larvae ticks or chiggers I had on me I would call an infestation!!! never had that my bugs on me at one time. Moral of the story is I'm investing in bug repellent...

There are several fallen trees you have to navigate around and the signage is not great. Otherwise, it’s a gorgeous and shaded hike with views of the river below.

Good moderate hike with well marked routes. You also can make it an 8.3 mi hike with a small extension of the trail.

Really enjoyed this trail. My friend and I decided late in the day to do a hike, and we wanted something not too easy, but a little elevation. This was perfect for our last minute hike. Not too long, not too hard...it was just right. Saw one mountain biker...this would be a fun trail for that.

For a hot day was a great shaded trail! It was 90 degrees but shaded with a nice breeze, it didn’t feel bad at all. We hiked down to the canyon and was well worth it. I would not go if there was a chance of rain it looks like it could flood easily.

Excellent mix of terrains. Ranges from easily runnable sections to difficult rocky inclines. Liked the fact that it was tree-covered and shaded. Great views of the river. Had a great run out there and will come back the next time I’m in town.

1 month ago

Well-marked and mostly shady trail inside a beautiful new state park! Some extended ‘slow burn’ inclines, but generally moderate and accessible to a wide variety of fitness levels.

1 month ago

beautiful trail. Lots of covered trail and mostly paved. it's got maybe 2 or 3 hills but nothing difficult. it's really beautiful and not a lot of traffic. very peaceful

Great place to go to.

1 month ago

Good incline and beautiful wildlife and trees. We saw lizards, a lot of birds, and two two deer were right on the trail. Shaded and the park itself is a beautiful.

Easy hike. Elevation gains were very short or very gradual. No rivers or bluffs. Nice trees. no flowers in July. Hike got confusing as it crossed many other paths. Having a map was very helpful.

One of my favorite places to go and experience each season in Missouri. There are plenty of birds and other animals to see while walking, the trails are taken care of and it's usually not crowded.

This is my Happy Place..

A little bit of everything, terrain and scenery-wise. Very well maintained.

I hiked the Matson Hill Trail CCW on the afternoon of Monday, July 23rd. I didn't hike the entire trail but instead did a lollipop excluding its southwest quadrant.

My GPS shows that I traveled 2.98 miles in 1 hour and 26 minutes. This was a leisurely pace as I wanted to enjoy the woodland beauty of the trail and take some pictures.

The St Charles County Parks map that I was using shows that the Matson Hill Loop is 2.8 miles so that also must exclude the part I skipped.

There aren't any real scenic highlights on the trail. However, the woodland area that it covers is nice. The trail itself is well packed and fairly wide so I never had to brush up against undergrowth that might be carrying ticks.

I only ran into one other couple during my hike and they were going the opposite direction. It just so happened that it was right at the only unmarked fork. If I had stayed on the more traveled path (right) that would have completed the entire Loop.

However, by turning onto the less travelled path (left) that completed the top "circle" section of the lollipop and led back to the trailhead via the "stick" section of the trail. Thanks, guys, for pointing me in that direction.

I might add that I went downhill for the first 20 to 30 minutes so you must take in consideration that you'll need to regain all that elevation. But with all the switchbacks, that is not very difficult.

I definitely plan to do more of this group of trails again in the fall when it's a bit cooler. FYI, there is a porta potty at the trailhead.

trail running
2 months ago

I love this trail. Some good variety in the terrain between dirt and some fairly technical rocky stuff. Lots of hills. CW leaves you with some pretty tough climbing at the end of the loop. Also, know that, if you’re the first person on the trail, you’re going to eat about a million spiders.

Wonderful trail. My family of 7 loved it including my 4 year old. Good elevation change and lots of beautiful views.

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