Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Meramec State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail, marked well for novice.
Good variation in terrain, several areas with natural wildflowers. Could vary depending on time of year. Took trail in May and areas that had undergrowth burned and new growth coming up were cool. Several runoff crossings, so pay attention to weather.

Very well groomed trail. I would rate this as a moderate trail. This trail would only considered Hard if you were trying to ride a scooter on it. I agree with the other commentary, go early spring to get some nice views of the Meramec River.

My husband and I completed this 10 mile trail in a day. Absolutely beautiful! Only ran into one other couple. Lots of fallen trees to climb over and ones to duck in the trail, but it was worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked here on the hottest day of the year in July 2016. It felt really good in the wilderness. It was 10 miles total. Tons of ticks! I had 5 on me within the 24 hours...1 held on for 3 days. only 1 place for water but I was not brave enough to drink it and test out my purification tablets. camped at campsite 7 and all night there were tons of some kind of very large nuts/seeds dropping on our tent and I got no sleep. Beautiful trail. I consider myself a beginner to intermediate hiker but this was my first overnight backpacking trip and it was amazing!

Ok trail. Kids liked as it was easy. cave was closed.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is fine no spectacular views but quite and place to enjoy the woods. Has a few hills so gives you a little bit of a leg workout but all in all not difficult. Trail is well marked.

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
8 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
11 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
11 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!

hiking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

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.

Good trail, took me and three kids an 1 1/2 hours. Couple of views of river and some shelters along the way. Saw a few deer along trail.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

We hiked this trail yesterday which was a very humid day (found out later humidity made heat index 101) so made the trail more challenging. Not very picturesque but was a nice hike. Our first time hiking in Missouri so we enjoyed looking at the diverse rocks along the trail. Really like the rock creek beds. Would do trail again if we are in the area.

hiking
Monday, June 13, 2016

Decided to hike this trail clockwise around the loop on what seemed like the hottest day in June. Overall this trail was great but did have a few downfalls. The vegetation along the trail was pretty heavy in quite a few spots and I came across a few downed trees that were laying on the trail which required me to go off trail and find an alternate way around. That being said these were not huge issues to me and really didn't impact my opinion of the trail. What did make a difference was the number of mosquitos along the back half of the trail so make sure to bring some bug spray to re-apply after you hit copper hollow spring. Now for the good. There was plenty of animal life around. I saw quite a few deer and there were a few warning signs to tie up your food in a tree because of bears and other critters so I assume they are somewhat common in the area. All the campsites seemed good and all had fire rings set up. The best ones seemed to be sites 5, 6, and 7. Those were relatively close to a stream where you could re-fill your water bottles (of course you should always treat your water before drinking it). Just past campsite 7 was a small natural spring which was a great place for my dog and me to stop and hang out for a little while. A little while after that was copper hollow spring which was really the highlight of the trail. This spring fed a small creek which flowed all the way out to the Meramec River. Once the trail navigates away from the spring fed creek the trail seemed to open up a little. I passed multiple "breaks" in the forrest into a few hillsides covered in prairie grass. There were also more oaks and bigger trees on this half of the hike (this is where the mosquitos were bad). The final campsite was also good although the nearby creek bed was completely dry so not a great place for water. All in all this was a great hike and I would like to come back in the fall as I think I would be able to give 4 stars then but for now we will stick with 3.

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