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The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall
The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall

When the weather turns from hot and humid to cool and brisk, you can’t help but make plans to be outside. With so many beautiful and historic places to hike around St. Louis, you’ll want to make plans to get the whole family outside and moving. It’s about more than just getting “steps” on your tracker; spending time hiking together is a great way to encourage some screen-free bonding time with your family. Once you’ve gotten your hiking boots, backpack and water bottle lined up, consider this list of the best hikes around St. Louis.


  1. Lime Kiln Loop Trail—Looking to get in a good workout while hiking? Walk this 3.2-mile loop at a brisk pace as it winds up and down (from a 300 to 800-foot elevation) through the woods. If you’re looking for nature, this is the trail for you: birds and even reptiles can be seen until the first freeze.
    Where: Rockwoods Reservation, 2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood

  2. Castlewood State Park—Open from 7 am to a half-hour after sunset, year-round, this park was a favorite stomping ground in the early 1900s for St. Louisans looking to get away from the city. The Meramec River winds through this 1,818-acre park and gives it some seriously stunning views. There are many trails to explore, and we recommend the three-mile River Scenic Trail that offers excellent views from the top of the bluffs. For a slightly shorter hike, try the Lone Wolf Trail at 1.5 miles.
    Where: 1401 Kiefer Creek Road, Ballwin

  3. Mina Sauk Falls Trail—Want to get a bit further out of town? The Mina Sauk Falls Trail offers beautiful scenery and a vista from the highest point in Missouri, atop Taum Sauk Mountain at 1,772 feet. You’ll park and start at the top at the nearby trailhead. From there, walk downhill and enjoy Missouri’s largest waterfall, located at the beginning of the Ozark Trail. The trail is three miles in length, but connects to other longer rugged trails. This trail features obstacles and steep grades and inclines of more than 10 percent, so tackle this one only when you’re ready.
    Where: Highway CC, Ironton, MO (about 110 miles from St. Louis)

  4. Cliff Cave County Park—Looking for a hike a bit closer to home? Just south of 255 and east of 55 you’ll find this 525-acre natural wonder that contains woodlands, wetlands and rocky hillsides along the Mississippi River. The namesake cliff is a 4,723-foot limestone cave (the second longest in the state) that is home to the Indiana Bat, a protected species. Access to the cave is prohibited, but you can see the entrance from the Spring Valley Trail, a moderately difficult 2.8-mile unpaved trail that winds through wooded areas. Fun fact: the cave was used by French fur trappers as a riverside tavern.
    Where: 806 Cliff Cave Road, St. Louis

  5. Powder Valley Nature Center—If you’re looking for wildlife, the three beautiful trails at the Powder Valley Nature Center will afford you many opportunities to catch a glimpse. The Tanglevine Trail is a wheelchair-accessible 1/3-mile trail, or you can opt for the slightly longer Broken Bridge trail at 2/3 mile. The longest trail (Hickory Ridge) is nearly two miles long and features small bridges that cross streams. Be sure to check out the education building that features displays about the local plants and animals to be seen, but leave your pets at home as they are not allowed.
    Where: 11715 Cragwold Road, Kirkwood


Whichever trail you choose, be sure to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated during your hike. Give your muscles a good stretch before and after you exercise and choose a trail appropriate to your fitness level. What are some of your favorite places to hike around St. Louis? Add to our list in the comments below.









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