Hiking

5 min read

Unlock St. Louis Secrets: Top 30 Trails for Epic Outdoor Escapes

Lace-up your boots and get ready for a twist on the trail! Our guide to the 30 best St. Louis hikes promises adventure for every step and surprises for every skill level. Let's wander wisely!

Tobi Miles
July 19, 2022

Known as the "Gateway to the West", St. Louis is the dividing line between the Eastern and Western regions of the continental United States. With the rapid changes in the landscape west of the Mississippi River, St. Louis is home to  incredible natural diversity.

Although in a densely populated city, St. Louis rests within beautiful sections of lush meadows, rushing rivers, and history-sculpted geology that begins the shaping of the western landscape. Throughout the city, there are wonderful opportunities to leave the busy streets and escape into the lush Missouri wilderness.

Plan Your Next Hike In The Stunning and Historic City of St. Louis

1. White Bison Trail Loop

Credit: Scott Spaeth / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 for 16.6 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 272 for MO-141. After 0.4 miles, take the 2nd exit at the traffic circle to get on N Outer Road. Continue for 1.9 miles and make a right onto Lone Elk Park Road. After 0.6 miles, the trail will be on your right.

The White Bison Trail Loop is the perfect concentration of native Missouri. This trail is a moderate climb in Lone Elk Park that wanders through the local fauna of the mid-west before looping around a calm and refreshing lake.

The trail is parallel to fields of vibrant greenery and wildflowers. With the abundance of native vegetation and access to a primary water source, this hike is the ideal habitat for numerous species of wildlife including deer, elk, and of course, breathtaking white bison.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 3.0 Miles

Elevation Gain: 314 Feet

2. Fort Bellefontaine Loop Trail

Credit: Aaron Owens / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head north on I-70 W and drive for 6.7 miles and take exit 245B toward W Florissant Avenue. Merge with Florissant Avenue and continue for 2.1 miles before turning right onto Riverview Boulevard. After 1.2 miles, take the 3rd exit at the traffic circle to get onto MO-367 N and drive for 5.8 miles before making a slight right onto Lusher Road. Continue for 0.4 miles and turn right onto New Jamestown Road and drive for 0.6 miles. Make a left onto Bellefontaine Road and drive for 1.2 miles and make a left into the parking area for this trail.

The beautifully picturesque and historic Fort Belle Fontaine Trail is a must-visit trail in the St. Louis Area. The hike is in a beautiful prairie that follows along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail that ultimately leads to Fort Belle.

Opening in 1805, Fort Belle is the United States’ first military installation west of the Mississippi River. Now abandoned, Fort Belle is lush with overgrown greenery and is open to exploring, with the iconic Grand Staircase ascending to historic overlook upon the Missouri River.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 134 Feet

Related Read: 65 BEST Things to Do in Missouri

3. Forest Park Wheels and Heels Path

Credit: Andrew Conway / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 3.2 miles before taking exit 36A-36B towards Kingshighway N. Turn right onto Kingshighway N and drive for 0.6 miles and turn left onto Forest Park Parkway. Drive for 1.2 miles and turn left onto DeBaliviere Avenue. After 0.2 miles, the parking area will be on your left.

The Forest Park Wheels and Heels Path is an urban trail that circumnavigates the perimeter of Forest Park. This trail is suitable for all hiking abilities and travels around some of St. Louis’s most coveted attractions, including the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Saint Louis Zoo.

The term “wheels and heels” refers to the alternating trail surfaces. The “wheels” is compact concrete ideal for cycling, while “heels” refers to the loose gravel travel pathway that is best fit for adventurers on two feet.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5.8 Miles

Elevation Gain: 200 Feet

4. Cliff Cave County Park Loop

Credit: Zach Frieben / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 9.7 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 197 to merge onto I-255 E. Drive for 2.9 miles and take exit 2 to merge onto MO-231. Continue for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Cliff Cave Road. Drive for 1.1 miles and turn left into the parking area for this trail.

The Cliff Cave County Park Loop is a stunning and scenic trek that leads to unique cave formations and a nice overlook. The path is completely paved, with little elevation gain, and takes you through Cliff Cave County Park.

The caves are only a short offshoot from the main trail. The signage can only be described as poor, but it is not hard to find your way to the caves. Continue along the paved trail until you reach a wonderfully expansive view of the Mighty Mississippi.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 200 Feet

5. Grants Trail

Credit: National Park Service

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 5.7 miles before taking exit 201B for Weber Road. Continue for 0.2 miles and take a left onto Weber Road and drive for 0.5 miles and make a left onto River City Boulevard. After 0.3 miles, the trail will be on your right.

Honoring Ulysses S. Grant, Grant’s Trail is a paved pathway that was built over the former Missouri Pacific Railroad. This comfortable trail is suitable for skill levels and is a point-to-point trek that is popular for hiking, running and cycling.

The trail wanders through beautifully shaded woodlands through the heart of residential St. Louis. This trail is extremely popular with road cyclists – so be prepared for a tranquil journey along a pristine walkway in the peaceful woodlands with the occasional, “on your left!”

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 9.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 288 Feet

6. Spring Valley Trail

Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 9.7 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 197 to merge onto I-255 E. Drive for 2.9 miles and take exit 2 to merge onto MO-231. Continue for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Cliff Cave Road. Drive for 1.7 miles and turn left into the parking area for this trail.

An offshoot along the Cliff Cave Park Loop, the Spring Valley Trail is a diverse trail with shaded woodlands and unique geology. Along the path, you will encounter cliff caves exposed by eroding sinkhole formations.

The trail is both loose gravel and paved walkways. Unlike the other trails in Cliff Cave Park, this one is well-marked and easy to follow. After exploring the caves, the trail moves uphill until reaching a vast plateau lined with boulders of dolomite and limestone.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 3.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 223 Feet

7. Saint Louis Tower Grove Park Tour

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W for 3.1 miles and take exit 36B to turn left onto S Boyle Avenue. Continue for 0.5 miles and turn right onto S Vandeventer Avenue and drive for another 0.2 miles and slight right onto Tower Grove Avenue. Make an immediate right onto Northwest Drive and the parking area will be on your left.

The Saint Louis Tower Grove Park Tour is a stunning walk through this small municipal park in the downtown area. The trail starts just outside the park and follows along the northern edge before wandering through the Botanical Gardens.

Along the way, you will pass 11 Victorian-Era pavilions, making this trail an eclectic mix of beauty and architecture. With all the blooming flowers in the Botanical Gardens, this trail is attractive to several species of birds, making this park an excellent choice for birdwatchers.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 3.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 141 Feet

8. Laumeier Sculpture Park

Credit: Errol Sandler / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 and drive for 11.8 miles before taking exit 277B for US-61 S. Continue on US-61 S for 0.6 miles and turn right onto Rott Road. After 0.5 miles, turn left into the Laumeier Sculpture Park and after 0.2 miles, the parking area will be on your right.

Laumeier Sculpture Park is an open-air museum that has over 70 sculptures placed within the grounds. The trail wanders through stunning fields and shaded woodlands, with these carefully crafted masterpieces situated along your path.

The trail is brief, but with the sheer amount of physical art, you may find yourself immersed on this exceptional trail for hours. Before venturing onto the trail, stop by the visitors center to get background on the sculptures and the artists who imagined them.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 95 Feet

9. Dennis Schick Trail

Credit: Jack Lenz / AllTrails

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive 5.3 miles before taking exit 202B toward Germania Avenue. Turn left onto Germania Avenue and drive for 0.6 miles before turning right onto Alabama Avenue, followed by an immediate left onto River City Casino Boulevard. Continue for 0.5 miles and turn right onto MO-231 S and drive another 1.3 miles. Turn left onto S Broadway Street and drive for 1.2 miles before turning right onto Hancock Avenue. Make an immediate right and the parking area will be on right.

The Dennis Schick Trail is a short stroll through Jefferson Barracks Park, honoring those who fought and died in the Vietnam War.

The short trail takes you along a historic pathway with honorable exhibits of Memoriam, including informative messages, historic sites, as well as war machinery - including a replica World War II replica tank.

Between the exhibits is large fields of lush grasslands. Deer have made this a haven and can be found in abundance grazing in groups along this historic trail.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 150 Feet

10. Meramec Highland Quarry Trail

Credit: Steve Bickel / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 and drive for 10.8 miles and take exit 278 for Big Bend Road. Merge onto Big Bend Road and continue for 1.9 miles and make a left onto Marshall Road. Drive for another 0.2 miles and the parking area will be on your right.

The Meramec Highland Quarry Trail is a short loop hike within the remnants of a disused quarry. The 1-mile hike takes you through the former quarry whose resources were used to build many of St. Louis’ office buildings and local resorts.

The overlook is wheelchair accessible, but as you would imagine, the journey down into the quarry has steep sections along tall ridges through rough sections of loose sediments.

A slow creek flows along the bed of the quarry, while beautiful, is an ideal habitat for mosquitos. Bug spray is your friend, here.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 5.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 164 Feet

11. Chubb Trail via Lone Elk Trailhead

Credit: GORC Gallery / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 for 16.6 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 272 for MO-141. After 0.4 miles, take the 2nd exit at the traffic circle to get on N Outer Road. Continue for 1.9 miles and make a right onto Lone Elk Park Road. After 0.6 miles, the trail will be on your right.

Outside of the typical city hikes in St. Louis, the Chubb Trail via Lone Elk Trailhead is a rural trail that takes you deep into the Eastern Missouri Wilderness. While moderate in difficulty, the hike can be challenging due to its rocky and steep nature.

This trail is pleasantly remote. While each end of the trail can be steep, the middle portion of this hike is a comfortably level walk through the peacefully beautiful sections of lush forests and abundant prairie fields.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 12.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 1,305 Feet

12. Bee Tree Lake Loop

Credit: Christian Collins / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 9.7 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 197 to merge onto I-255 E. Drive for 2.9 miles and take exit 2 to merge onto MO-231. After 4.3 miles, turn left onto Becker Road and drive for 1.5 miles before turning left onto Finestown Avenue. Continue for 0.9 miles and make a slight right and the parking area will be on your left.

The Bee Tree Lake Loop is a serene trek around the calm shores of Bee Lake. The trail takes you around the entirety of the lake before branching off into the lush green hills of this stunning St. Louis park.

The trail is full of gorgeous flowers helped bloom by the all-important pollinating worker bees. Climb up the moderate hill until you reach the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River. With overlooking views of the plentiful river, walk along the shores before traveling back down the hill to return to the lake.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.3 Miles

Elevation Gain: 252 Feet

Related Read: 40 Best Camping Spots in Missouri

13. Cliff Cave Loops

Credit: Zach Frieben / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 9.7 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 197 to merge onto I-255 E. Drive for 2.9 miles and take exit 2 to merge onto MO-231. Continue for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Cliff Cave Road. Drive for 1.7 miles and turn left into the parking area for this trail.

Not to be mistaken with the earlier Cliff Cave Loop, the Cliff Cave Loops take you along the same paved pathway before branching off once you reach the overlook of the Mississippi River.

The trail splits into a figure-eight hike that parallels the river as well as taking you into a more remote section of Cliff Cave Park.

As the trail curls back from the river, the poorly-marked pathway will lead you into the remote hills of the park – to the private, lesser-known caves available to those with a keen eye.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.8 Miles

Elevation Gain: 173 Feet

14. Mississippi River Greenway

Credit: Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive 5.3 miles before taking exit 202B toward Germania Avenue. Turn left onto Germania Avenue and drive for 0.6 miles before turning right onto Alabama Avenue, followed by an immediate left onto River City Casino Boulevard. Continue for 0.5 miles and turn right onto MO-231 S and drive another 1.3 miles. Turn left onto S Broadway Street and drive for 0.1 miles and make a left onto Gark Street. Drive 0.2 miles and slight right onto Bagby Road and make an immediate left and the parking area will be on your left.

The Mississippi Greenway is a multi-use trail that runs parallel to the banks of the Mississippi River. In the heart of downtown, you can access this trail at several points, but the most common and recommended is near the River City Casino.

The widely paved path is an out-and-back walk along the Mississippi River and is popular with runners, hikers, and cyclists. The city is in the process of funding construction to extend this trail that which will eventually span 32 miles.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.6 Miles

Elevation Gain: 88 Feet

15. Mallard Lake Loop via Creve Coeur Lake Trail

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 13.3 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 25 to merge onto I-270 N. After 2.2 miles, take exit 14 to merge onto MO-340 and drive for 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Creve Coeur Mill Road and drive for 1.6 miles and turn right into the parking area for this trail.

The Mallard Lake Loop via Creve Coeur Lake Trail is a gorgeous hike that takes you to the banks of this abundant duck habitat. Mallard also serves as a detention basin – collecting sediments from Creve Coeur Creek that deposit into the clear waters of Creve Coeur Lake.

If you are a bird watcher, the Mallard Lake Loop lives up to its name. The lake has families of mallard ducks, as well as several other rare species of birds that are waiting to be spotted and identified.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.6 Miles

Elevation Gain: 137 Feet

16. Mississippi Greenway Trail

Credit: Jennifer Davis / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 9.7 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 197 to merge onto I-255 E. Drive for 2.9 miles and take exit 2 to merge onto MO-231. Continue for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Cliff Cave Road. Drive for 1.7 miles and turn left into the parking area for this trail.

Unlike the trail with the nearly identical name, The Mississippi Greenway Trail is a historic walk along the shores of the Mississippi River that takes you through industrial sections of St. Louis that are less traveled, but rich with images of the past.

This trail is widely paved and one day will connect to the Mississippi River Greenway Trail. The pathway crosses several old bridges, including one that is part of the old historic Route 66. The trail is under maintenance and is commonly under construction.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 5.1 Miles

Elevation Gain: 62 Feet

17. Creve Coeur Connector Trail

Credit: Steve Lohe / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 13.3 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 25 to merge onto I-270 N. After 2.2 miles, take exit 14 to merge onto MO-340 and drive for 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Creve Coeur Mill Road and drive for 1.6 miles and turn right into the parking area for this trail.

The Creve Coeur Connector Trail is a lesser-known pathway that connects the Katy Trail to Creve Coeur County Park. Beginning at the calm shores of Mallard Lake, this trail is a wide paved hike through the Missouri woodlands before leaving the park and into the city.

The pathway does begin to climb with minor elevation gains before running along the shoulder of the highway. The path leads you across the length of the Mississippi River before connecting you to another set of wonderful hiking trails.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 7.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 190 Feet

18. Meramec Greenway Trail

Credit: Wampa-One / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 14.0 miles and take exit 193 for Meramec Bottom Road. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Meramec Bottom Road and drive for 1.3 miles before turning left onto Holzers Park Road. Make an immediate left into the parking area for this trail.

The Meramec Greenway Trail is a scenic out-and-back trail that runs along the shores of the Meramec River. The trail is a wide multi-use pathway that is popular with cyclists and hikers.

After you wander along the river, the hike will turn inland towards the smooth greens of the Quail Creek Golf Club within Suson County Park. There is an interesting boardwalk along the way that is entirely constructed of only recycled materials! This trail is perfect for a comfortable afternoon walk and is wheelchair accessible.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 3.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 45 Feet

19. Emerson Grand Basin Loop

Credit: Reading Tom / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive 4.4 miles and take exit 34B for Hampton Avenue. Merge onto Hampton Avenue and take the 1st exit at the traffic circle onto Wells Drive and drive 0.3 miles before taking the 3rd exit at the next circle onto McKinley Road. Continue for 0.6 miles before turning left onto Theatre Drive, followed by an immediate left onto Government Drive. Continue for 0.5 miles and make a right onto Fine Arts Dr and after 0.2 miles, turn right onto E Fairview Drive and the parking area will be on your left.

Tucked within Forest Park, the Emerson Grand Basin Loop is an incredibly beautiful walk past all the landmarks in the park. Connecting many of the trails in the park, this hike leads to the St. Louis Art Museum and the St. Louis Zoo.

The pathway brings you over picturesque footbridges that help make your way to both Wildlife and Picnic Parks. The highlight of the trail is the Emerson Grand Basin, centered by a matrimonial gazebo that is a popular place for lovebirds to tie the knot.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 85 Feet

20. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Trail

Credit: Kwong Yee Cheng / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on Tucker Road for 0.1 miles and take a right onto Walnut Street. Drive for another 0.6 miles and park in the lot for the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Trail - also known as The Gateway Arch Trail in Gateway Arch National Park. The Arch was built to commemorate Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase from the French Republic in 1803 and is the iconic symbol of the United States’ expansion to the West.

The trail travels around the famous arch, as well as several historic points of interest that loop around the park. You can further enhance the experience of this trail by purchasing a ticket and traveling to the top of the famous Gateway Arch.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.8 Miles

Elevation Gain: 75 Feet

Related Read: 15 BEST Black-Owned Restaurants In St. Louis, MO

21. Carondelet Loop

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive for 4.5 miles and take exit 202C for Loughborough Avenue. Turn right on Loughborough Avenue and drive for 0.2 miles before turning right on Grand Drive S. Continue for 0.1 miles and make a right onto Holly Hills Drive. Make an immediate right and the parking area will be on your left.

The Carondelet Loop is a family-friendly trail that circumnavigates scenic Carondelet Park. Along this path, you will encounter not one, but two calm lakes in which you can relax by their shores.

The rolling hills take you through blooming fields of Missouri flowers on a comfortably paved trail that is level and wheelchair friendly. That park is busy with families and their puppies, but it is common to spot playful deer and cackling geese.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.1 Miles

Elevation Gain: 98 Feet

22. Clydesdale Trail Loop

Credit: Whitney Fleming / AllTrails

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head south on I-55 S and drive 7.9 miles and take exit 199 toward Reavis Barracks Road. Merge onto Reavis Barracks Road and drive for 1.2 miles before turning left onto Reavis Road. Continue for 0.5 miles and turn left onto MO-21 and drive for another 0.7 miles. Turn left onto Tiffany Square Parkway followed by an immediate right onto Tiffany Village Court. After 0.1 miles, the parking area will be on your left.

The Clydesdale Trail loop is a collection of hiking trails located in Officer Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park. Consisting of the Twin Bridge Trail, Fox Run Trail, and Bottomland Trail, this pathway takes you on a family-friendly journey that is comfortable for all skill levels.

One of the features that make these trails unique, is the fact that while it is an urban park in the middle of a busy residential area, the park has the secluded feeling of a remote journey into rural Missouri – just down the road.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.8 Miles

Elevation Gain: 137 Feet

23. Dogwood Ridge Loop via Losing Stream Trail

Credit: Maria Russell / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 and drive for 16.6 miles and use the right two lanes to take exit 272 for MO-141 S. Stay on MO-141 S for 1.2 miles and turn right onto Meramec Station Road. Drive for 1.0 miles and turn left onto Hillsboro Road. Continue for 0.4 miles and make a right into the parking area for this trail.

The Dogwood Ridge Loop vis Losing Stream Trail is a refreshingly remote hike in the Forest 44 Conservation Area. The area is home to 11.8 miles of multi-use trails that are popular for horseback riding, but the Dogwood Ridge Loop is reserved for foot traffic only.

The hike wanders through gorgeous prairie lands that casually skip over shallow creeks in the peaceful wilderness. Due to the remoteness of the conservation area, there is an abundance of wildlife you are likely to encounter on your journey.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.4 Miles

Elevation Gain: 206 Feet

Related Read: 20 Top Treehouse Rentals in Missouri

24. Grotpeter Trail Loop

Credit: Wampa-One / Flickr

Directions: From West St. Louis, head south on I-270 S for 4.1 miles and take exit 8 for Dougherty Ferry Road. Merge onto Dougherty Road and drive for 1.8 miles and turn right onto Big Bend Road. Continue for 3.7 miles and turn left onto Ries Road and drive for another 1.1 miles. Turn left onto Kiefer Creek Road and drive for 0.2 miles and the parking area will be on your right.

In the heart of Castlewood State Park, The Grotpeter Trail loop is a trail that is comfortable for hikers of all skill levels but has the opportunity to make your journey more challenging, to say the least.

The hike is a short journey through a hard-packed rocky surface that goes through scenic prairie lands, but if you decide to challenge yourself, you can climb the knee-buckling ascending switchbacks on what the locals have labeled, “Cardiac Hill.” Once reaching the summit, you will have earned stunning panoramic views of the lush prairies to the west.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.1 Miles

Elevation Gain: 26 Feet

25. River Des Peres Greenway Trail

Credit: Mark S. Abeln / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 5.5 miles and take exit 33C for McCausland Avenue. After 0.2 miles, turn left onto McCausland Avenue and drive for 1.6 miles before turning left onto Canterbury Avenue. Make an immediate left into the Francis R. Slay Park parking area.

The River Des Peres Greenway Trail is an urban hike that takes you through the heart of St. Louis’ most prized districts.

The hike goes through open greenways via a bridge that passes over the River des Pere, including the Francis S. Slay Park, Shrewsbury Metro Station, Carondelet and Lemay Parks, and the Holly Hills neighborhood.

Once you complete the trail in its entirety, you will be rewarded with the historic shores of the Mighty Mississippi River, experiencing the elements of metropolitan St. Louis that exhibit its unparalleled charm.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 14.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 423 Feet

26. Deer Creek Greenway Trail

Credit: Chris Cross / Flickr

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 7.0 miles and take exit 31B for Hanley Road. After 0.8 miles, use the left two lanes to turn left onto S Brentwood Boulevard and drive for 2.0 miles. Make a right into the parking area for Lorraine Davis Park and your trailhead will be on your left.

The Deer Creek Greenway Trail is a paved pathway that passes through beautiful sections of Webster Groves. This wildlife-abundant hike wanders through scenic Barnickel and Lorraine Davis Parks in suburban St. Louis.

The trail is wide and popular with hikers, cyclists, and trail runners. Along the way, you will traverse through lush prairie lands that will make you feel as if you left the city and into the quiet countryside. It is labeled as wheelchair accessible but there are some sections with elevation that will require extra effort.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 4.2 Miles

Elevation Gain: 170 Feet

27. Saint Louis Zoo

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 4.4 miles and take exit 34B for Hampton Avenue. Merge onto Hampton Avenue and take the 3rd exit at the traffic circle onto Wells Drive. After 0.4 miles, turn into the St. Louis Zoo and follow the signs to the parking area.

Although technically not a hiking trail, a walk through the Saint Louis Zoo is 2.0 miles of paved walkways with viewing access to over 14,000 animals. The Saint Louis Zoo has received worldwide acclaim for its unique and innovative approaches is animal care and conservation.

The walkway is in the heart of Forest Park and is a family-friendly pathway that is especially memorable if enjoyed with your younger family members. Access to the Zoo now requires reservations to limit overexposure to these beautiful creatures.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.0 Miles

Elevation Gain: 108 Feet

28. Picnic Island Loop

Credit: Abby Alberter / AllTrails

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive 4.4 miles and take exit 34B for Hampton Avenue. Merge onto Hampton Avenue and take the 1st exit at the traffic circle onto Wells Drive and drive 0.3 miles before taking the 3rd exit at the next circle onto McKinley Road. Continue for 0.6 miles and turn left onto Theatre Drive. After 0.1 miles, turn left onto Cricket Drive and follow the signs for the Picnic Island Loop.

Forest Park is an iconic area in St. Louis and the hike around Picnic Island is no different. Picnic Island is a nice and quiet section of the park, which is perfect for, you guessed it, a picnic.

The highlight of the loop is a picturesque suspension bridge in the center of the trail. This unique piece of architecture is the symbol of the loop and provides wonderful selfie-worthy views of Forest Park and the St. Louis City Skyline.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.1 Miles

Elevation Gain: 16 Feet

29. Heels Path and Prairie Boardwalk

Credit: Bill Keaggy / AllTrails

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-64 W and drive for 3.2 miles before taking exit 36A-36B towards Kingshighway N. Turn right onto Kingshighway N and drive for 0.8 miles and turn left onto W Pine Drive, the parking area will be on your left.

The Heels Path and Prairie Boardwalk is a short journey that leads to a stunning piece of historic architecture. The Heels Path is a trail that circumnavigates Forest Park and is made of loose gravel before branching off into a dense and vibrant greenway offshoot.

The trail continues until reaching a boardwalk that passes over scenic Missouri prairie lands, which is a crafted and restored Victorian footbridge. Along the trail, you will enjoy blossoming fields of vivid wildflowers along a flowing creek in the heart of Forest Park.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.0 Miles

Elevation Gain: 29 Feet

30. Francis Park Loop

Credit: City of St. Louis

Directions: From downtown St. Louis, head west on I-44 and drive for 5.0 miles and take exit 284B for Arsenal Street. Turn right onto Arsenal Street and make an immediate left onto Jamieson Avenue. Continue for 1.8 miles and make a left onto Eichelberger Street and after another 0.2 miles, the parking area will be on your left.

The Francis Park Loop is a comfortable trail that is popular for hikers, cyclists, and runners. The trail runs along the perimeter of the park that features eclectic exhibits from local artists while walking through a neighborhood with large and elegant homes to enviously gawk at.

The trail is paved and is suitable for adventures of all skill levels. Along the trail, you will pass through a wonderful old-growth forest in the middle of suburbia.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2.0 Miles

Elevation Gain: 52 Feet

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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