St. Louis is usually not a place that comes to mind when someone thinks about hiking (or beautiful views for that matter), but since I currently live here, I have to stay optimistic and get creative. Although I have lived in St. Louis a majority of my life, I actually didn’t come across Castlewood State Park until I was in college, but I am very pleased to live close to such an amazing park with plenty of panoramic views!
Castlewood State Park is a hidden gem located in St. Louis County, Missouri that overlooks the Meramec River which is one of the longest free-flowing waterways in the United States. This park was established in 1975 and has been a local favorite for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers for years. There are several biking and hiking trails that overlook the railroad tracks and majestic bluffs along the Meramec River. Castlewood gets its natural beauty from the many trees, meadows, and bluffs that surround the park. This park is open year-round (despite the frequent rainfall and occasional flooding that occurs in the area) and is usually the busiest on warmer days from spring to fall.
Castlewood does not get as much attraction or attention as Forest Park (another popular park in St. Louis), but as described on their website, it is “St. Louis’ Peaceful Escape.” When visiting Castlewood, I feel like I’m traveling somewhere exciting and new even though it is located in my home city. This park is my favorite park in St. Louis due to the fantastic views of the mountain high trees, hiking trails, and the bluffs that surround the river. Castlewood is an enjoyable park to visit if you live nearby or if you are visiting the St. Louis area!