5 Hikes within an Hour of St. Louis (That aren’t Castlewood…..)
5 Hikes within an Hour of St. Louis
That aren’t Castlewood…..
By: Hayley Gaertner
Listen, we all know that if someone in St. Louis is trying to be outdoorsy and go on a hike but they don’t want to actually drive somewhere…….. THEY’RE GOING TO CASTLEWOOD. I’m sorry, I know I give that place a lot of crap, but it truly is nice LOL. I just want to throw out some other options, because THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS. So here we go…..
1. Salt Lick Point
Distance from STL: 40 minutes
Recommended trail: Salt Lick Point and Johnson Trails.
My absolute favorite part of this hike is the overlook, make sure to watch out for the signs so you don’t miss it! There’s a HUGE drop-off, so be careful, but you can see miles of farmland, and it’s beyond gorgeous. I recommend taking a headlamp, watching the sunset at the overlook, and hiking back in the somewhat dark. Trust me, it’s worth it. Okay, maybe don’t do this on your first time….. This hike is actually pretty straining on the way up to the overlook, which is about a mile. The incline is pretty intense and I normally have to take a couple breaks! After the overlook though, the rest is downhill and flat.
Address: 1309 Limestone Drive, Valmeyer, IL 62295
2. Don Robinson State Park
Distance from STL: 45 minutes
Recommended trail: Sandstone Canyon. 4 miles.
Let me start by saying, if you do the whole loop, it’s 4 miles; however, there is a connector that enables you to cut through around the halfway point. Click here to see a map of this! The connector is a great shortcut if you don’t want to do the whole 4 miles, and will bring the trail down to a little over 2 miles instead. This trail features a teepee, some small waterfalls, and the namesake: a sandstone canyon. This is a fairly moderate hike.
Address: 9275 Byrnesville Rd, Cedar Hill, MO 63016
3. Queeny Park
Distance from STL: 25 minutes
Recommended trail: I make up my own…
Okay this is a county park and I normally wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for hiking, but I actually love taking my pups here when I want to get some energy out, but not do anything massive. I found a trail that I prefer, which consists of three different ones combined, and for some reason I have just come to love this place! There are many different trails here, ranging from half a mile, to 4 miles, so I recommend looking up their map of trail systems and picking your own! The trails are very wide and well maintained, but still heavily covered by the trees, so you feel secluded! I would rate most of these as easy, minus a few inclines.
Address: 550 Weidman Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131
4. Valley View Glades
Distance from STL: 49 minutes
Recommended trail: Well, there isn’t an option here. HAHA. There’s just one loop and it’s 2.8 miles. There’s a small gravel parking lot, and the trail is on the right. This is actually tucked away in my hometown, and I had no idea until I moved away! The name of the park says what you need to know about the scenery. This is a loop around a valley and glades and there are beautiful wildflowers and small waterfalls in the summer. This is a little unique hike and I love it for when I don’t want to go too far!
Address: 131 Evergreen Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050
5. Mastodon State Historic Site
Distance from STL: 28 minutes
Recommended trail: Limestone Hill Trail. 1.8 miles.
You’ll start in the parking lot, then cross Seckman road and do the remainder of the trail on the other side. It’s a moderate hike that takes you along a limestone bluff and up a hilltop that rewards you with a view of the valley!
Address: Good grief, sometimes the address just doesn’t work. If you type Mastodon State Historic Site into maps, it’ll take you to the museum, you don’t want that. So, just plug these coordinates in…. 38.379970, -90.394800. Or, just head South on highway 55, get off at the Imperial exit, make a right, then get onto the outer road, turn onto Seckman School Rd, then watch out for the park!
I’ve mentioned it a lot, but I use the All Trails app any time I go hiking. If you
type in any of the parks above, you can see all of the trail options
and download maps to your phone!