dogs on leash

forest

The beauty of the Meramec River and its surrounding bluffs, caves and forests have pleased visitors since the park opened in 1927. In 1933, the craftsmen of the Civilian Conservation Corps began blending a variety of visitor facilities into the park's rugged landscape. This popular 6,896-acre park offers year-round access to camping, picnicking and trails. Guided tours of Fisher Cave, one of more than 40 caves in the park, are provided on a seasonal basis for a nominal fee. Water enthusiasts will enjoy swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing in the Meramec River. Weekdays offer substantially more solitude than weekends. Additional facilities include a park store that offers raft and canoe rentals, campsites (including three group sites), rental cabins, motel rooms and a conference center. Some services and facilities are only available on a seasonal basis. Meramec State Park's visitor center offers a mix of educational exhibits including large aquariums that display the amazing variety of aquatic life found in the river. Here, guests can orient themselves to the park's many permanent and seasonal attractions and facilities before venturing out into the park.

Great trail! Diverse terrain and well marked.

trail is not marked at all. we took the wrong way. Don't go up the huge hill multiple splits in the trail. we ended up walking into a multi million dollar home out in the middle of nowhere. Ended up walking the road back and started over finally found the 1st cave which is across the creek. never made it to the end cause ran out of daylight

one of my favorite hikes.very remote part of the park. not a difficult hike but not for hikers who don't enjoy getting creative with their paths. no trailblazes and often very little trail. i would recommendnot going on the summer time due to overgrowth and ticks. finding your way through this bushwack is well worth the effort to arrive at the magnificent greens cave.

Completed the full trail in early December. The scenery was great, but the two issues I have with this area is the poor signage and the number of people who bring their dogs that aren't on leashes. Every time I bring my dog hiking, she's on a leash. During our most recent trip to this trail we encountered two groups of people who didn't have their dogs on a leash, one of which tried to attack my dog. If you're considering doing this trail, be prepared to deal with careless dog owners and minimal signage marking the trail.

The distance of the full loop including the approach is 10 miles.

hiking
5 months ago

Was a little tricky to find. We were all excited to go in the cave, But got there and the cave was closed.
The cave was closed due to the the White nose fungus.

Not a highly trafficked trail. I did the full trail. First part of the trail which is also the short loop, is a little more traversed and not as overgrown. However the back part of the trail is overgrown and had a lot of fallen trees. I wore pants due to the other reviews mentioning ticks.I found two on me after the trail. Quite a bit of the trail follows a stream, so I would think in the spring after heavy rains some of the trail would be hard to pass as there would be a strong possibility of flash flooding in the area. So if hiking in the spring keep your eye on the weather. Saw quite a few hikers on the front half of the trail. I didn't run into anyone on the back half. It is only difficult because it is a wilderness trail. If you went off the trial it could be easy to get lost due to the overgrowth. I will say the over growth does actually make the trail a little more challenging and fun. However, it is still not overly challenging. Not many scenic views. There was a cave that is blocked off due to the endangered bats. Overall it was a good trail due to the seclusion and the forest being in its natural state.

We went through shorter version of trail ( around 5 miles). At the beginning the trail was a little confusing . There are a lot of ticks there. It was not a scenic trail in comparison to other trails I went in Missouri.

A nice hike.. A little bit of everything as far as Missouri goes.

hiking
7 months ago

Super short. Great for kids. Light is a must! there is a short crawl if want to see more. Opens back up and is an amazing area. Could continue crawling but we chose to stop there. Is closed during Bat hibernation months.

too many trees laying on the path but all in all a good trail

25 y/o male, casual hiker. I hiked this route in about 1.5 hours, but could have probably made it in around 50 minutes if I didn't stop anywhere.

Fantastic microcosm of Missouri's hills! Great mix of loose and dense woods, tallgrass fields, rocky bluffs, river views, and even a gaping gave if you step a little off of the trail. There has clearly been some campfires along the trail, from the burnt logs and bleached rocks, but generally felt very isolated and peaceful, even so close to the roads.

There were a few, small steep sections I was very glad to have a walking stick for, so scavenge one up for yourself.

I hiked the trail between 7 and 8:30 pm, with sunset around 9, and the only downside of my trek was the sheer number of spider webs! I ended up holding my walking stick up as a web breaker for the last 1/4 mile, and even then I'm sure I brought one or two tiny arachnids home. A broad-brim hat would have been great.

There is one point which goes all the way down to the river's edge, and you could get into the water and swim if you care. Fishermen travel up and down in their speedboats, so be watchful of the sound of approaching motors.

trail running
8 months ago

Great trail, didn't seem traveled too often. Lots of ducking under branches, climbing over or crawling under trees. Appreciated the natural challenges. If you are looking for a groomed trail, this may not be for you. Came across the really cool cave about mid way through the run.

Several creek crossings, so my dog could cool off and hydrate. I got caught in a severe thunderstorm at mile 6, so the end of my run was even more adventurous.

It's a beautiful hike with lots of twists and turns. You have to get creative in a few spots when passing over creeks. There one spot where the trail disappears and you have to walk the dry creek bed until it reappears. That was challenging. And be prepared for wet shoes during the rainy season. It can be hard to get across the different wet areas.

Also, the ticks! Holy cow! Brushed about 10 off me during the hike, picked off 11 when I go home.

But, the cave and its surrounding areas make it worth it. Beautiful!

Loved this hike! There are so many different environments in it and my dog loved jumping in the creek. We stumbled upon a section where hundreds and hundreds of bluebells were in bloom! We did come away with a few ticks already in early April. Depending on how overgrown it becomes later, I would be careful! The trail is very well marked and shows your location at all the campsites. The map is helpful too!

very quick but gorgeous hike. my favorite in meremac state park

backpacking
11 months ago

My two sons and I backpacked this trail in the first week of March and it was beautiful. The grass was just starting to green along the trail and many of the smaller trees had buds out, giving them just a touch of spring. Best of all, only one tick seen during our two day, overnight trip. This trail has been rated as “Hard,” a ranking that might be a little high, but not much.

However, like any wilderness experience, this trail has its pro’s and con’s, with the former far out weighing the later.

Pro’s:

- This trail is located in Meramec State park, MO, which, by itself, is a great experience. Meramec is clean, well-organized and well suited for backcountry hikers or families who prefer the park-and-camp approach.

- Despite being located in such a drive-in friendly park, the Wilderness Trail Long Loop offers an excellent opportunity to really get into the woods and away from it all. I would NOT recommend this trail if you are a beginner unless someone in your group is an experienced hiker. Upgrade to All Trails Pro to get a topo for this trail, or stop in at the park’s visitor center for an excellent topo map as well.

- Even in late winter/early spring, there is water all along this trail. If you have a good water filter (which I do) and you do not like carrying loads of water (which I don’t - I rarely carry more than two liters), then you are going to love this hike. If you hike the whole loop (there is a connector trail at about 2.5 miles going counter-clockwise, marked with white), be sure to stop at Copper Hollow Spring (just past mile 4, counter-clockwise) and then another small spring just off the trail, opposite of backpack camp # 7. The water from these springs is cold and as pure as it gets.

- Right at Copper Hollow Springs there is a chance to bush-wack off trail and head due East along Copper Hollow Creek, right down to the Meramec river. You MAY be outside the park at this point, but the river (and fishing) are worth the extra five minutes of pushing through the undergrowth. You may also be tempted to swim in the Meramec, but be careful - the currents at this bend in the river are swift and tricky.

- There are a number of backpack campsites along this trail, and numbers 3 through 7 (roughly between miles 4.75 and 5.75, counter-clockwise) are particular nice. They fill-up quickly, and it’s first come first serve.

Con’s:

- This trail is not well maintained in places, notably through Campbell Hollow, from mile 5.5 to mile 8.5 going counter-clockwise. A number of downed trees (large ones) and a lack of blazing means that you will need to pay close attention to where you are going. Even for day hikers, I recommend that you have (and know how to use) a map and a compass before hitting this (or any) trail.

- This trial is very rocky in places, which is typical of Missouri topography. Take care and watch your step (especially if your are carrying a pack), or a bad ankle might be just around the bend.

All in all, a beautiful hike, one that should certainly make your “must do” list.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Great little trail with view of the Meramec and a couple of CCC shelters

hiking
Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Quite a nice trail, though I am not sure it should be rated as difficult. I finished the trail in just under 3 hours. For sure, this is one of the more popular longer trails I've been on in the Missouri state park system as I crossed paths with a few other hikers along the way.

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