Missouri is a beautiful state with many opportunities for nature-filled experiences. If you’re not sure where to go first, use our guide. From stunning state parks to charming city green spaces, here are five places to get up close to nature around Ellisville.
Castlewood State Park
Reconnect with nature at Castlewood State Park. This 1,818-acre oasis straddles the winding Meramec River for nearly 5 miles and features two lakes. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages because there’s so much to see and do when you’re on the lookout for an adventurous outdoor experience. The lush valley, broad meadows, and abundant wildlife make the park a favorite for people who want to get away from the hectic city pace.
Pack a tasty lunch and enjoy a lakeside picnic. There are several sites to host your meal, including two covered shelters, then explore the hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails. Drop a line and enjoy angling for catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegill, then canoe or kayak down the river. There’s also a playground, making this pick a fantastic place for family gatherings. You can even stay the night and go camping.
- Location: 1401 Kiefer Creek Road in Ballwin.
- Hours: The grounds are open daily from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset.
Ellisville Parks and Recreation strive to provide residents with numerous opportunities to engage in nature-filled experiences near home. It’s one of the best reasons to move here, and Bluebird Park is the jewel of the city’s park system. This urban retreat covers over 167 acres and offers everything you want from a neighborhood green space, including picnic pavilions, a community garden, and walking paths. There’s also an aquatic center, tennis courts, softball fields, a dog park, a disc golf course, and a playground. Improvements to the amphitheater will also be done in time for the 2023 summer concert series.
This city also offers locals 13 other city parks for outdoor play. We also enjoy visiting the 8-acre natural space at Quailwoods Trail on West Field and Virginia Avenue and the completely undeveloped 2-acre area at Red Tail Hawk Park on Summer Oaks Drive. Robin Park on Sunny Glen Court in the Sunnyridge Subdivision is our largest municipal park at 29 acres, while Woodpecker Trail is the smallest natural space at just an acre. It’s near Field Avenue and Hilltop. You can even visit all the parks in one day, thanks to its 7-kilometer connecting trail system.
- Location: 225 Kiefer Creek Road in Ellisville.
- Hours: April through October from sunrise to 10 p.m.
Roger Klamberg Woods Conservation Area
Next to Bluebird Park sits the 67-acre Roger Klamberg Woods Conservation Area. This expanse of woodland provides families with a place to immerse themselves in nature close to home. You don’t have to make a trip out to a state park to access this special spot. A portion of the area was donated by the Klamberg family and named in honor of its former owner, Roger.
Take a relaxing hike or ride your bike through one of Missouri’s most enchanting protected areas. Horses and motor vehicles are not permitted. However, if you find edible nuts, berries, fruits, and mushrooms in the park, you’re allowed to harvest them for personal use. After your excursion, head to Bluebird Park to use the facilities.
- Location: 89 Oak Hill Drive in Ellisville.
- Hours: From sunrise to 10 p.m. between April and October and sunrise to sunset between November and March.
Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park
Babler State Park’s 2,441 acres provide an ideal destination to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Get lost in the rolling hills of this nature lover’s paradise and explore all it has to offer. A giant bronze statue commemorating Dr. Babler greets park visitors near the massive stone entryway. His prominent St. Louis family donated the land in 1934 in memory of this respected local physician and surgeon. Visit the River Hills Visitor Center and browse exhibits showcasing the park’s flora and wild residents.
Babler Park offers opportunities for hosting a cookout, hiking, biking, and horseback riding within the park’s diverse habitats. If you want to go camping, there are primitive or modern sites with electric service. Visitors can discover mature oak, sugar maple, walnut forests, open prairies, and dense wetlands along miles of hiking and biking trails. You may get the chance to see some of Missouri’s native wildlife on the grounds, like deer, turkeys, and birds. There’s also a multipurpose court for tennis, volleyball, or basketball.
- Location: 800 Guy Park Drive in Wildwood.
- Hours: The grounds are open between April and October from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from November through March from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Robertsville State Park
Robertsville State Park is a 1,225-acre outdoor recreation area bordering Calvey Creek and the Meramec River. This popular state park boasts endless ways to fill up on natural experiences, like boating, camping, and picnicking. So launch your canoe or kayak, float down the river, or stick to land and explore the Spice Bush and Lost Hill trails as they wander through the hardwood trees.
Easy access to the water makes this pick perfect for fishing from the shore. Find a spot along the bank and cast your line. You’ll love examining the scenic bluffs along the river meadows that were once growing fields of crops. The park was a working farm in the mid-1800s, and its clearings remind visitors of its agricultural heritage. Bird-watchers love Robertsville for the diversity of waterfowl that live near the rivers.
- Location: 902 State Park Drive in Robertsville.
- Hours: The grounds stay open daily between April and October from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from November through March from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With so many nature-filled experiences to see near home, it’s no wonder Ellisville is one of Missouri’s most beloved cities. Let us know which spot you and your family visit first, and don’t forget to remind us about other awesome outdoor experiences near home. We want to share your ideas with other parents.