A trip to Castlewood State Park gives visitors a first-hand look at the area's glorious past. At the same time, the natural beauty of the Meramec River and the surrounding open spaces offer a serene escape from urban life. Between 1915 and 1940, thousands of St. Louis residents traveled by train each weekend to the Castlewood area for water fun, dancing and clubhouse partying. Today, the 1,818-acre Castlewood State Park preserves the history of the former resort. The park stretches for nearly five miles, straddling both sides of the Meramec River. It incorporates much of the old resort area, including the grand staircase that once led revelers up to the large hotels and clubs. Although the hotels and clubs are gone, the staircase and the lure of the region remain. Hike the River Scene Trail that ascends to the top of the majestic limestone bluffs towering above the river. Stand 250 feet below on the riverbank among the trees of the native floodplain forest. Angle for bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish in the cool waters of the Meramec River. Eat a relaxing lunch before strolling through meadows and along the spring-fed Kiefer Creek. The possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours.
Glad we did the rugged hill side up and the wooden steps down. The railroad track tunnel was a great spot to stop after by the river. Nice flat walk back along river after the woodsier trek the first part. Crowded on the day we went, but not congested.