Top Parks In St. Louis For A Winter Nature Walk

January 4, 2016 3:01 PM

Photo Credit Thinkstock

It is time to get outside and burn off the holiday calories. Here is a list of the five best scenic walks in the St. Louis area to stimulate the senses and work off the pounds. Let the fresh, frosty air invigorate and motivate. Bring a camera or a friend, and let the natural beauty remind you of all that St. Louis has to offer.
Castlewood State Park
1401 Kiefer Creek Road
Ballwin, MO 63021
(636) 227-4433
www.mostateparks.com/park/castlewood-state-park

Castlewood State Park has many trails for many different types of experiences. From simple, flat trails to challenging hikes, equestrian and bike trails to paved paths, there is an activity for every fitness level. The Castlewood Loop has many great places to observe nature and take some fantastic photographs. The River Scene Trail has some historic points of interest and several inspiring views as well. If you want to head to the water and spot some wildlife, the Stinging Nettle trail has plenty of water along the path and is a family friendly walk.

Laumier Sculpture Park
12580 Rott Road
St. Louis, MO 63127
(314) 615-5278
www.laumeiersculpturepark.org

Free and open year round to the public, Laumier Sculpture Park is a favorite for locals who want to get out and stomp around a bit. Enjoy a unique collection of sculptures and walk paths that can be moderately difficult. A great place for kids of all ages, this will make the hike educational and work out the brain, as well as the legs. Another favorite among photographers, this park allows both nature and man’s artistic triumphs to come together and make a truly one of a kind experience.

Pere Marquette State Park
13112 Visitor Center Lane
Grafton, IL 62037
(618) 786-3323
www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/PereMarquette.aspx

Less than an hour away from St. Louis is one of the most scenic parks in the Midwest. Pere Marquette State Park has camping and many amenities, but the hiking trails are free and give visitors a chance to explore nature while enjoying a maintained trail for comfort. The visitor center is happy to hand out maps and advice, and guests can see some of Missouri’s famous bluffs as well as the rustic woodsy beauty that has made this region a popular destination. Bird watchers will find this park especially delightful. After a nice walk, enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal at the on-site restaurant.

Related: Top Hiking Trails In St. Louis

Faust Park
15185 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
(314) 615-8328
www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ParkPages/Faust

Faust Park has a lot of wide, comfortable trails for families to enjoy. The trails are relatively flat, and most are stroller friendly. There is a well developed playground that is ideal for kids of all ages and lets the kids romp and burn off some of that boundless energy. There is a carousel and other small displays that make this a local favorite for families of young children. It is a great place to enjoy a beautiful hike and maybe a round on the jungle gym before heading back inside.

Grant’s Trail
4398 Hoffmeister Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63123
www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/Trails/GrantsTrail

This trail is nearly eight miles long and is flat and comfortable for a nice walk. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed, and families come out regularly to enjoy the view. The park map shows all restrooms and points of interest along the trail, making this one of the most comfortable choices for a winter walk. Photographers will still find plenty of objects to capture, and nature enthusiasts will find that there is wildlife all around.

Related: Top Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails Near St. Louis

Bon Tindle is an author from Springfield, MO. She writes fiction and nonfiction for several publications, and can be reached through her website (www.bontindle.com) with comments or questions.

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