River Scene Trail Loop

MODERATE 384 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

River Scene Trail Loop is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ballwin, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
226 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

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).

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful views of the river. Impressive crinoid stems in the rocks on the bluff.

1 month ago

Great hike, great views! The only thing that would make this hike better is catching it at the right time of fall. The colors would be amazing. Some places can be challenging for the kids, but other than that great hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Beautiful bluffs over Meramec River. Just enough rough terrain to get my heart rate elevated. Took my elderly dog, which I would not suggest due to the many mountain bikers.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail with a variety of scenery and terrain. The views from from the bluffs are amazing and walking along the river you'll see some really neat trees. Watch for the RED trail markers as it can get a little confusing.

hiking
2 months ago

Clearly marked trail on a beautiful fall morning

2 months ago

great trail for a cold October morning.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail! This says that the trail is supposed to be roughly 3.2 miles but we ended up hiking just over 4 miles in about two hours. There was a decent amount of people, but not too many. My boyfriend and I actually hiked the trail the wrong way (we started with the end and ended with the beginning) so at the end of our hike there was a pretty steep downward grade but it wasn’t too bad. There was a lot of loose rocks and of course leaves because it’s fall. Would definitely hike here again! The trail is well maintained and there isn’t a lot of trash around. The views of the river were beautiful and there was a lot of dogs on the trial (always a plus!).

walking
3 months ago

Beginning of the trail is hard to figure out. The sign makes it seem like you're on the trail but we unknowingly ended up on the steeper (black dashes) trail. Trail has several points where you're not sure where to go so definitely use your gps. Met quite a few people along the trail including mountain bikes. Views are spectacular.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is beautiful all year round! If you have dogs and you plan on going down the long span of stairs, just make sure you can handle it. It hurts a lot when your dogs drag you down the stairs faster than you can walk them.

hiking
4 months ago

Favorite trail to take. So beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

Loved the views and river

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful and diverse trail and surroundings. We got there around 9:00 AM on a Sunday and it was fairly busy. When we left around 10:30, the parking lots were close to full. Also has a convenient playground.

walking
4 months ago

We love taking our dog out to this trail on the weekends - a little escape from the city. The beginning of this hike is the most challenging with a long uphill but it's fairly easy after that. There's a long staircase that can get a little crowded and then it's a lovely walk along the river after that.

hiking
4 months ago

I give it 2 stars based on lack of difficulty and less than impressive views compared to others. It is a beautiful, well kept park for families and those new to hiking and looking for a get away. The hardest, most enjoyable part of this park is the first minute or 2 of this trail.

It is what I call a tourist park. It is filled with benches and overlooks. There are a decent amount of cliffs to view off of but that is about it for off the beaten path. Not much of an adventurer park. It is nice for a few hour get away outside of the city.

5 months ago

Beautiful view with moderate incline

5 months ago

Beautiful scenic hike but only drawback it's too crowded and parking is bad

hiking
5 months ago

The beginning is great! The scenic views are the highlight of this trail. However, I personally think Castlewood is overrated compared to the other trails in the area. HEAVILY trafficked - I would only recommend going in the middle of the week. The end of the trail is pretty boring due to only being flat and no challenge.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

My wife and I hiked this with our 2 young children (5 and 7). The first mile of the hike was mostly uphill over loose rock. We thoroughly enjoyed the views overlooking the Meramec river. The rocky overhangs are cool to see and abundant along this part of the trail. If you take young children, make sure they can handle the climb and listen well. Our son has an independent streak and had to be firmly told to stay away from the edge of the cliffs. They pretty much all have a straight drop off of 200 feet or more. It was around 95 degrees but there was enough shade and breeze that it wasn't a problem. At the end of the hills there is an elaborate wood staircase that takes you down to the river area. I'm guessing it's around 15-20 flights. This was a nice change in scenery with huge trees that extended out over the river, and a hard sandy walking surface. Also very shaded. The traffic was pretty heavy, and there was usually someone within earshot. But it was Sunday so not a big surprise. There was also a lot of people walking their dogs on the trail. The rocks on this trail are really sharp, so make sure that's not a problem for your dog's feet. I like dogs, but a lot of owners weren't cleaning up after them. I saw at least 15 piles of dog crap in the middle of the trail. So watch where you're stepping.

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