For hiking or walking. Some are paved, while others are not. By nature I mean there are trees etc. around the trail. I am adding difficulty levels (categories) for hiking or walking. By easy, I mean it’s suitable for family. By moderate, I mean, the old or the young may have some challenge complete the whole trail due to distance, or the surface.
Gentry Park at Bridgeton: paved
Malcolm Terrace Park: some nature walk, 1 mile round trip from the pavillion (the longer loop).
Millennium Park: paved.
Stacy Park: some nature walk, newly installed in last few years.
Venable Park: full name is Dr. Phillip Venable Memorial Park.
Warson Park: Stacy Park: some nature walk, newly installed in last few years.
Chesterfield central park: all paved
Creve Coeur Lake (paved), the loop is about 3.6 miles. Gets popular in nice days (weather). Note many St. Louis county parks have the exercises equipment or station along the trail, sometimes my kids would like to play with them during the walk. The only thing we need to be careful is: sometimes an equipment could be broken – stay away from it. Don’t attempt to work on the broken equipment, and got hurt (then sue the county park division 🙂
Powder Valley: mixed paved vs gravel. There are a few short distance trails.
James McDonnell County Park: it has quite a few amenities, and it’s fairly close to where I live.
Boot Leg Trails at Creve Coeur Lake: note this is a trail sometimes the bikers riding bikes. Most of them are mindful of the hikers, but in general try not to listen to AirPods (especially with the noise cancelling features) so that you don’t get hit by a bike. I think the Lost Valley in St. Charles are like that too.
Quneey Park: this along with the Boot Leg, are probably two popular longer trails in the St. Lous county. I recall I ran once at the park during the SnowBall series a few years ago (maybe year 2017 or 2018?). There are two popular winter run series in the STL area, the other one is Frost Bite. I am running the latter series last year and this year. Both are good. I had quite some memories over the years from the Snowball series, including once, had to run briefly in the Creve Coeur lake (paved) trail in the melted snow water: one gentleman fell unfortunately, and that’s the reason I remembered.
Lost Valley: St. Charles. We did a large portion of the trail during the rock runner morning run. Below is quote from Andy K. who is the organizer of Rock Runner
- Physical Address is: Lost Valley Trails Parking Lot, Lost Valley Trail, Defiance, MO 63341 (trailhead).
- Technical Level Yellow as the trail includes a variety of the following: single track, gravel road, creek crossings, dirt and semi rocky trails, switch-backs, moderate climbs and descents
- For the History Buffs among us, here is a great link with tons of information and pics surrounding the unfortunate events in the 1940’s in the surrounding area of the park. Lost Valley area history
Mastodon: Jefferson County
More nature trails
I also maintain a Google doc that has more nature trails in the area. I intend to maintain that google doc as time goes. Probably hike (re-hike) some of those trails too.
During 2020 to 2022, we (as a family, many times with friends) hiked quite a few places, especially in the year 2020 and 2021 (due to pandemic, I guess the moms were worried about kids’s well beings, and they don’t like kids glue their eyes to the iPads all day). Unfortunately “gluing to iPads or computer” is the new normal now with the pandemic is largely behind us 🙁
In Summer 2022 I also joined the Rock Runner by Fleet Feet and got to hike or ran in some of the area nature trails.
PS: AllTrails has a nice website and app for the trails in the US. I used their paid app in couple years and they allow the map to downloaded so that even in the trails (a lot of times we don’t have reliable cell data), we can still have the map and GPS.