Explore the most popular hiking trails near Ballwin with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

nature trips
3 days ago

Loved the River Scene Trail and the rugged path at the beginning of the hike. Bathrooms at the park were pristine clean. Very enjoyable!

6 days ago

Great, easy hike on pavement for the majority of the path, the last bit before reaching river access is gravel. Once you do cross on to the gravel portion of this trail you'll come to a brief clearing where there's a large cactus patch that certainly took me by surprise. I wasn't aware that grew in the wild in Missouri.

The waterfall mentioned in the description above barely qualifies as one, it's more of a trickle of water running down a steep slope near the start of the path, so don't get your hopes up for anything spectacular regarding that. Not to detract from this very beautiful wood & stream path though, but there's hardly a waterfall, maybe after a good rain it's more active though.

Hidden gem of a path that’s sparsely utilized and well maintained if you're looking for an easy trek.

Would definitely not rate this as “Moderate.” The trail is very well marked and relatively easy. Great views from the bluff & alone the river. Crowded on the weekend, but that’s to be expected.

16 days ago


Beautiful scenery of the Meramec River and the valley... somewhat crowded but worth the hike!

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

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

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!

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.

1 month 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.

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!

A fave

3 months ago

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

Lovely hike along riverside! Some of the trail is on the edge of a steep cliff.

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!

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.

4 months ago

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

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.

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.

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.

5 months ago

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

6 months ago

Nice trail along the river.

6 months ago

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

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.

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.

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.

8 months ago

Clearly marked trail on a beautiful fall morning

great trail for a cold October morning.

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!).

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