Hiking and Biking Trails

Pick a mild day in spring, summer or fall – and in some cases, winter – and you’ll realize how much St. Charles County residents appreciate their outstanding trail and greenway system. You’ll see many bikers, runners and walkers as they connect with paths and roads within the county and neighboring areas.

Here is a look at some of the primary path and greenway networks:

Great Rivers Greenway

Great Rivers Greenway, a public agency connecting the St. Louis region with greenways, was created about 18 years ago after voters decided to create a sales tax to leave a legacy for future generations by investing in and connecting rivers and parks.

Great Rivers Greenway collaborates with partners and communities to build, care for and bring to life a network of greenways, creating healthy habitats and watersheds along the way. The organization serves 2 million residents throughout a 1,200 square mile district of St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County.

The most notable recent trail improvement was the opening of two new pedestrian bridges in St. Charles County in April 2018. The bridges are part of the recent expansion of the Centennial Greenway, which provides a new connection to parks, schools, businesses and neighborhoods for thousands of residents on both sides of these busy highways.

The project extends the existing 2.2-mile Centennial Greenway north, crossing both highways 364 and 94 via two pedestrian bridges where it connects to Old Highway 94 near Muegge Road.

In addition to the paved trail and bridges, the greenway also has a scenic overlook landscaped with native plants and seating for people to stop and rest. This section of the Centennial Greenway extends from the Katy Trail to the St. Charles County Heritage Museum. The new bridges spur off the greenway near the Heritage Museum. For more details: https://greatriversgreenway.org/greenway/centennial-greenway-katy-trail-heritage-museum/

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

The nearly 7,000-acre August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area serves as the St. Louis regional Missouri Department of Conservation office and includes a visitor center. Fishing and hunting licenses are available here for use in roughly 30 lakes and ponds. Boat rentals are a big draw. Other outdoors attractions include hiking, picnicking, bird-watching areas, a shooting range, an archery range and prairie restoration spots.

Katy Trail State Park

Another popular spot is the Katy Trail, a 240-mile recreation rail trail that runs from Machens – a former town in St. Charles County – to Clinton, about 75 miles southeast of Kansas City. Here, outdoor enthusiasts can bike, run or hike along river bluffs and wooded areas.

City and County Parks and Greenways

One of the most popular natural areas in St. Charles County is the Dardenne Greenway, which winds along Dardenne Creek and links hundreds of acres of parks and many neighborhoods. The greenway has a paved trail that provides access to athletic fields, a dog park, St. Charles Community College and many other areas. The south end of the Greenway is at Legacy Park in Cottleville and the north end is near Mexico Road in St. Peters.

There are many trails to check out within the St. Charles County Parks System, including Lost Valley Trail in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area, located near Chesterfield. It features a Little Femme Osage Creek and a crystal-clear spring, and visitors often cross paths with deer and turkeys. Other trails not to be missed include Matson Hill Park Trail in Defiance and Augusta’s Klondike Park Trial, which features bluffs and a gorgeous lake.

Multi-use trails in St. Charles County that permit horseback riding as well as hiking and biking are open at Broemmelsiek Park and Indian Camp Creek Park. The City of St. Charles offers trails of various lengths and surfaces in 11 parks, in addition to the paved 5.45-mile hike and bike Boschert Greenway (https://greatriversgreenway.org/greenway/boschert-greenway/).

Also, there are three existing segments of the Centennial Greenway:

  • The easternmost section, Centennial Greenway: Forest Park to Washington University to Vernon, is one 1.5 miles, paved.
  • Further west, Centennial Greenway: Shaw Park to Olive travels along I-170, linking four communities; Clayton, Ladue, University City and Olivette. The intersection where the greenway crosses Delmar can be very confusing for trail users to navigate, but organizers are working to improve it.
  • In St. Charles County, Centennial Greenway: Katy Trail to Heritage Museum is a 2.3-mile segment (paved) that provides a vital link between the Katy Trail and St. Charles Heritage Museum Park to the west. It also connects to St. Louis County’s 4.5-mile paved Creve Coeur Connector trail extending from Creve Coeur Park.