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#1 of 689 state parks in Missouri

Best trails in Castlewood State Park

2,963 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Castlewood State Park, Missouri? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 5 moderate trails in Castlewood State Park ranging from 1.7 to 4.7 miles and from 419 to 662 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in Castlewood State Park
Park information
Acreage:
1,818 acres
Park hours
Monday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Tuesday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Wednesday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Thursday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Friday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Saturday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Sunday
7:00 am - 5:55 pm
Contact
636-227-4433
Helpful links
Top trails (7)
#1 - River Scene Trail Loop
Castlewood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1276)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 1 h 25 m
River Scene Trail (red arrows) This three-mile loop is the most spectacular trail in the park and highlights the parks most memorable features. The trail climbs to and then traverses a series of bluffs overlooking the Meramec River. It then goes down a long wood staircase that takes you from the top of the bluffs to the valley below. From there, the trail takes you through an up-close and personal look at the river and the bottomland surrounding it. Along the way, you will pass panoramic vistas, remnants of the historic resort era and floodplain forest. This trail is designated for hiking and bicycling (hiking only on the bluff portion). Show more
#2 - Lone Wolf Trail
Castlewood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(584)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 50 m
This trail parallels the River Scene Trail on top of the bluffs before plunging into the Kiefer Creek valley. The trail then follows the south bank of Kiefer Creek. There is also a creek crossing that connects this trail with Grotpeter Trail. The trail was originally built to allow bicyclists access to the bluff area, but it is also an excellent hiking trail. Features along the trail include beautiful ridge top views, fern covered bluffs and a gravel strewn creek bed. The trail is named in honor of the Lone Wolf Club, a speak easy/tavern from the historic resort era. The club is adjacent to the park near the trail on private property.Show more
#3 - Grotpeter Trail
Castlewood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(710)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 1 h 56 m
Varied routes and the challenging terrain with numerous elevation changes make this a popular trail with all users. In addition to the main trail, five white connector trails, totaling 2.6 miles, are available to enhance, shorten or lengthen the users experience. From the trailhead, east of the park office, the trail crosses Kiefer Creek Road before climbing up and over a hillside. The trail then winds up another hill to the top of a long ridge. White connector trails 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 can be used to bypass steep sections of the trail. After reaching the pinnacle, the perimeter trail follows the crest of the ridge before starting a long downhill back into the Kiefer Creek valley and back to the trailhead.Show more
#4 - Castlewood Trail
Castlewood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(221)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 37 m
#5 - Castlewood Loop
Castlewood State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(62)
Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 26 m
#6 - Stinging Nettle Trail
Castlewood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(46)
Length: 4.7 mi • Est. 1 h 57 m
#7 - Cedar Bluff Trail
Castlewood State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(25)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 14 m
Cedar Bluff trail, contrary to its name, does not actually go along Cedar Bluff. If you take it clockwise, the trail passes through forest and meadows before climbing to the knob of a large hill, which happens to be the highest point in the entire park. The trail then plunges back into the valley, crosses a creek and then weaves up a ridge on the opposite side of the valley. It then follows the ridge back down to the start of the loop. Show more