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.

on River Scene Trail Loop

2 days ago

Nice overlooks. Crowed but nice trail. My boys loved the nearby train and the water

This trail has it all- hills in and out of the trees, a fantastic view at the top, off-paths for bicycles, and runs right by the river. It’s a local favorite.

Great views all the way through, I would recommend this hike. Prepare yourself for the armada of mosquitoes though haha!

hiking
19 days ago

My first time hiking and I thought it was not only easy enough but beautiful. I saw the bluffs with the river view and a creek bed. Lots of great photo opportunities

I loved this trail!

This is my favorite trail!!! Always clean. Everyone is so friendly. Almost everyone has their dogs there! Beautiful scenery, great spots for pictures!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Quick hike; good hill factor and the views from the top are soooooo worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

This is my go to trail whenever I need a quick hiking fix! Love how you can choose your distance with the white connector trails. Keeps things fresh and interesting every single time!

Nice trail!

hiking
1 month ago

very nice trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail on the edge of the suburbs! Very active park, there was a trail race event going on while I was there, but still I had plenty of room to hike this route comfortably. There's some good bits of elevation gain and fabulous bluff views along the South edge. Most of the trail has plenty of room to let mountain bikers pass, but do keep aware for them coming around corners.

I was amazed by the wildlife. Deer were grazing by the side of the road as I drove into the park, as if it was a zoo, and I encountered another one which let me get within 20 feet before casually trotting away. Lots of birds flying around. I was VERY glad I brought bug spray, so don't forget yours!

Only reason it's not 5 stars is the vehicle and train traffic noise you can't really get away from. Not bad, but always there.

One of my girlfriend and I's favorite place to go :) Lots of views and you can see alot of deer on the lower levels. highly recommend for anyone, friendly for all ages

First hike, great experience! Panoramic views. We started at the east and ascended via the stairs. They are well maintained and really get the blood pumping. A few more inclines made for a great hike. Cooled down with the Meramec river trail.

First 1/4 to 1/2 mile a little tough but rest of trail easy enjoyable

Great views and photo opportunities

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views all around this trail! As a big dude the end is tough but extremely rewarding!

Great trail for kids! The beginning of the trail is a little exhausting if you aren’t used to elevation, but the rest is easy breezy! Beautiful views and photo opps. Lots of puppers on the trail so be on alert if your dog isn’t used to making friends.

nature trips
3 months ago

Loved the River Scene Trail and the rugged path at the beginning of the hike. Bathrooms at the park were pristine clean. Very enjoyable!

Would definitely not rate this as “Moderate.” The trail is very well marked and relatively easy. Great views from the bluff & alone the river. Crowded on the weekend, but that’s to be expected.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful!

Beautiful scenery of the Meramec River and the valley... somewhat crowded but worth the hike!

This is the most beautiful hike in the St Louis area.

Beautiful views, well kept, great way to spend your day.

Absolutely loved. We went early this morning and it wasn’t too crowded. There were people along the trail, but the ones we encountered we courteous and polite. All and all would hike again!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful scenery with frequent changes in elevation to keep it interesting. Be aware if you are planning to go on foot that this is primarily a mountain biking trail. This is a great trail to see wildlife. I think I saw more deer here than on any other trail I have hiked. Also, I deeply regret not wearing bug spray.

This is a beautiful hike, but is also a popular hike. If you are looking for quiet you may want to time your visit. The view is great, I would love to come back after the leaves are gone for better visibility of the river. Fun change in elevation at the beginning, plenty of benches and overlooks for those who need a rest on the way up.

hiking
4 months ago

This is simply an amazing trail to hike! The initial rise will get the blood pumping and is highlighted by some breathtaking views overlooking the Meramec River. If you are a photographer, you will get some amazing shots. Only pitfall is, aside from early Spring and Fall, most of the cover (from cliff-side trees), will block some of your river views. But the strategically placed over-looks, allow you to overcome that (in certain areas). Really a very good hike. If you start out to the East versus West, when you get to the point where you cross under the railroad tracks, be prepared for a steep ascent via well-maintained wooden stairs.

Good trail but best to go really early at the weekends or mid week if you want to avoid the weekend crush. Went yesterday and it took ages to find a parking space. I guess it was the nicest day in months so everyone had the same idea. Still enjoyed the walk!

A fave

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