Fort Bellefontaine Loop Trail

MODERATE 97 reviews

Fort Bellefontaine Loop Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near St Louis, Missouri that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.9 miles
209 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips

trail running




historic site

3 days ago

The only sign was something like "trail parking." The rest was a guessing game. Somehow we ended up on the main road but if we had extra time, we would have explored more. Signs, however, definitely would have helped. Still plan to go back to try to find the rest of the trail (where the historic site and steps are).

nature trips
14 days ago

Fairly easy historical walk. Great scenery. Heavy infestations of Copperheads. Really need to watch where you step.

30 days ago

Nice trail.. NOT USER FRIENDLY... SIGN NOT VERY CLEAR... Will definitely do it again when I have more time.... I seen the Forts and Steps.. I DIDN'T do the steps this time BUT NEXT TIME THE STEPS IS A MUST !!!!! #Fun and Fitness with Miss B @stlhappyhourfitness

1 month ago

Was a beautiful trail. If your new to the area this is a great trail to get out to; cold water creek is really nice and feeds to the Missouri River from right there. Have fun!

4 months ago

Easy trail, loved the ruins of the fort. Very pretty area, interesting history.

4 months ago

really pretty! loved it

6 months ago

Nice park but not user friendly. Signs are not very clear. But really cool old forts and nice area for dogs . By the river

7 months ago

Just a loop...couldn't find the fort:/

7 months ago

Interesting trail. Had a really nice three mile dog walk.

11 months ago

Easy 'trail', gravel or paved roads the whole way. The only challenge was the stairs. Wouldn't bother to do again.

11 months ago

Great for the dogs. Spacious and clean

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The stairs are a must do!

trail running
Sunday, October 01, 2017

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The ruins were cool to see. The signage isn't the best so if you park at the trail head, not the grand staircase, just make sure to stay to left for the full trail.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The old fort ruins were neat. Trail was ok, easy enough for kids.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Good, well kept trails. Some elevation changes. Some really good views. Stay left for good trails.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

awesome!!! worth the trip

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A great well-maintained trail. A few up and down sections but not strenuous. Much longer Trail than shown on this map IF you stay to the left. Park in the small lot on the first chat road to the left after entering the gate. To find the longest - and most scenic - route, keep to the left as you come to "crossroads" along the way, even if there are gates across the paths. Ignore the gates. The gates are for vehicular traffic. If you pass the canine training area, take the narrow asphalt path up the slight hill on the left just past the building to get back on the more scenic trail. If you end up at the small school, the trail continues behind the school. Construction materials hide the entrance to the trail. As you walk close to Cold Creek, watch for overgrown ruins in the woods. Also numerous ruins of WPA structures near Grand Staircase. Interesting and beautiful trail.

trail running
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Beautiful ruins of the old military fort make it worth the trip. The stairs down to the water are a must. However, the signage is poor here and the trail dips thru wooded area, paved road, gravel road, gates, and off shoots, so bring your patience and desire to explore. Like another user said, there is a noticeable smell during the trail too.

Near the "trail head", I recommend taking the green grassy path (first left) and not the gravel like the AllTrails path shows.

mountain biking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Not a bad trail. Not going to get the adrenaline pumping but it is a good ride. Seeing the old structures is worth the trip.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

This trail was a little tricky to find! I didn't see any confusion on the other reviews but we parked at what appeared to be the trailhead according to signage and the trail didn't lead to the river or the historic buildings. We checked back in with the gate guard and he let us know to drive further down near the DYS to finally find the Grand Staircase along the river. It was a really cool historic site. We didn't have time to actually walk along the river but it looked like a nice trail! Definitely want to come back soon to see everything in its entirety.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This was a nice walk with some nice ruins to explore along the way. I didn't start recording until I was significantly in and veered slightly off course at one point. I was slightly surprised that I had to stop at a security gate on the way in - there is a K-9 training area as well as a juvenile detention center on the grounds - but, don't let that deter you. It was a quiet, peaceful trail. However, because of the extra roadways, the trail could really use some markers and maybe some maps posted throughout with different path options.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Loved this trail - it wasn't very long but all the stone structures to look at made this trail an excellent hike. My only complaint would be the need for more signage to explain what the structures were all originally used for. Well worth a couple hours to see this treasure

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The historical stone buildings MADE the hike by taking you back in history to craftsmanship that stands the test of time! Climbing the 75+ stone steps built in the 1930s to the top brought a new view of the river at each tier and an added challenge. We even spotted a large owl roosting in a tree then taking to flight. Lost? - Follow the larger road to the right after descending the stone steps. It will take you up. Go left at the top to get back to pk lot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It was a nice trail alot of need historical stuff.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Flat trail. Some creek and river views.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

This is a wide trail like a dirt road mostly, but still great. There are so many old stone structures to check out & the grand staircase is huge. Definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Great atmosphere. Love that the water follows the trail. So much history there, don't forget to read some of the stands.

Friday, September 04, 2015

There is a 3 mile trail with relatively low inclines. You check in with the guard at entrance due to the fact there is a boys home is there as well. 

The trail head parking is immediately to the left and starts with an open meadow with beautiful wild flowers. Then the trail goes in the woods following a creek until it meets the river. There seems to be a dump on the other side of the creek due to smells unfortunately. However, I have gone on several hikes and it isnt overwhemling. Interesting points of random stonework, walls, firepits ect sprinkle along the trail (which are in the above pics)until you meet the largest structure, the stairs which is 6 floors high per my fitbit. 

You can cut the hike short by climbing the staircase and walk through the boys home parking lots or keep following near the river. However at that point there are no more structures except a small rock wall.

Very lovely place.

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