St. Louis: Wilderness Trail

This 9-mile lollipop loop is an adventurer's delight: scenic bluffs, spring-fed streams, quiet campsites, and--for those who dare--an elusive limestone cavern.
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This 9-mile lollipop loop is an adventurer's delight: scenic bluffs, spring-fed streams, quiet campsites, and--for those who dare--an elusive limestone cavern.

Mapped by Bill Yearout

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.0

Waypoints

WDT001

Location: 38.212718963623, -91.0933532714844

Head N over bridge, bearing L behind ’30s cabins and under oaks

WDT002

Location: 38.2156715393066, -91.0964965820312

Veer L @ Y to begin loop; pass sods streaked in shooting-star ephemerals and Indian paintbrush

WDT003

Location: 38.2193298339844, -91.1087265014648

Thumb-sized orangethroat darters swim in spring-fed pools

WDT004

Location: 38.2238006591797, -91.1184921264648

Straight @ Spur 185 into hardwoods (Eastern redbud and dogwood)

WDT005

Location: 38.2284698486328, -91.1185073852539

L @ Y; short-needle pines flourish on L.
Option: Turn R @ Y to shorten hike to 6 mi.

WDT006

Location: 38.2398300170898, -91.110481262207

Spur paths lead to primitive campsites near Copper Hollow Spring

WDT007

Location: 38.2388000488281, -91.0970764160156

Option: Crawl 1,000 ft into limestone cave.Bring hardhat, life vest, and headlamp (permit required from park)

WDT008

Location: 38.2372016906738, -91.0922470092774

Photo op: Ridgetop vista above a graceful bend in Meramec River

WDT009

Location: 38.2327690124512, -91.1003799438476

Butterflies abound in Meramec Upland Natural Area, a preserved woodland with thick undergrowth

WDT010

Location: 38.2327613830566, -91.1079635620117

L @ T. Note: Shortcut from WPT 5 rejoins main route

WDT011

Location: 38.2285194396973, -91.1035995483398

Straight over Spur 185

WDT012

Location: 38.2228698730469, -91.0952224731445

R @ Y

WDT013

Location: 38.2209587097168, -91.0995330810547

Straight across gravel access road. Head downhill .6 mi. to L @ Y; follow trail back to lot

Winter in Meremac

Location: 38.2330360412598, -91.1001510620117

Trail leaves an open glade. ©Bill Yearout

River Views

Location: 38.2367897033691, -91.0921020507812

Spot the Meramac River through pines and hardwoods. ©Bill Yearout