River Scene Trail Loop

MODERATE 474 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

River Scene Trail Loop is a 3.1 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
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
249 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).

4 days ago

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

10 days ago

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

17 days ago

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
18 days ago

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
22 days 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.

1 month ago

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!

1 month ago

A fave

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, can see how in the spring or fall this trail would be very pretty.

hiking
2 months ago

This is by far my favorite trail, providing the weather has been decent. But even in the rain, it’s absolutely gorgeous. When you climb to the top, you are immediately struck with views of gorgeous rolling hills topped with lush trees full of life (if you go in the spring/summer of course). You follow along the edge of the cliff for most of the upper part of the trail, then you go down a crap ton of wooden stairs, go under the train tracks (which are very active train tracks), and boom — you’re right next to the river. This next part of the trail can be pretty muddy and slippery if it’s been raining recently. You’ll follow the river until the trail eventually brings you out by the main parking area for the river. I’d also suggest to wear bug spray during the whole duration of the hike!

3 months ago

There was a prescribed burn in progress, so we had to modify our planned route. Half the loop is flat, in the bottoms below the bluff. The other half is on the bluff, up and down from one beautiful overlook to another. Lots of dogs and people. Beautiful trail for so close in to the city.

hiking
3 months ago

During good weather it can be rather congested with people, but great views.

hiking
3 months ago

We trekked this one today, the bottom running along the river was quite muddy and you found yourself doing the Fred Flintstone trying to maintain balance in several spots. Once you cross under the RR tracks and start your ascension on the staircase you find very spectacular views from the cliffs edge. Some of the trail crosses the lonewolf and white trails. Some areas rugged others moderate over all a nice trek. Only down fall was it was so busy you couldn’t find parking in some areas. You also literally had to give way to traffic in some areas on the trail due to hikers.

4 months ago

Awesome trail that starts with a steep climb and then levels off for a great view of the river. Doubles back after descending a huge set of stairs. Just took the hike during wet weather/snow and even the river bottoms were solid enough to walk without too much mud.

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of great scenic overlooks of the Meramec River as you gain elevation. Then it levels out for a very casual walk along the banks/woods along the river, the sound of the moving water is very relaxing. Downside (for me) is that it is fairly heavily trafficked by a lot of causal users that do a lot of loud talking.

hiking
4 months ago

My favorite trail in STL. Great vistas and varied terrain. Biggest negative is the traffic sounds.

hiking
5 months ago

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

6 months 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
6 months 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.

6 months 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
7 months ago

Clearly marked trail on a beautiful fall morning

7 months ago

great trail for a cold October morning.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 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
8 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
9 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
9 months ago

Favorite trail to take. So beautiful.

hiking
9 months ago

Loved the views and river

hiking
9 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
9 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
9 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.

Load More