Hiking with your family is one of the best ways to get fresh air and exercise while having fun. Fortunately, there are several superb hiking trails in the Ellisville, Missouri, area. Whether you want to take a casual stroll in the woods or a strenuous hike to get your heart pumping, you’ll find something to enjoy on this list that our team at Crème de la Crème put together for you.

Grotpeter Trail in Castlewood State Park

Two children hiking near a field in Ellisville, MO

Little Hikers  by Ben Grey is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

Castlewood State Park is one of the premier places to experience nature in the Ellisville area. You’ll find several wonderful trails to hike, including the popular Grotpeter Trail.

This nearly 4.4-mile loop trail takes over three hours to complete, depending on your pace and how often you stop to rest and soak in the view. With an elevation gain of about 380 feet, you’ll come across varied terrain ranging from easy to challenging. Mountain bikers and equestrians share this trail, so keep an eye out for them. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to join you when hiking the Grotpeter Trail. You’ll find restrooms near the trailhead at the first picnic shelter.

Location of Castlewood State Park:  1401 Kiefer Creek Road, Ballwin.

Hours:  Daily from 7 a.m. to a half hour after sunset.

Rock Hollow Trail

When you’re looking for an easy trail to hike with youngsters or those in strollers or wheelchairs, head to Wildwood and hike the Rock Hollow Trail. This 2.3-mile trail is 10 feet wide with an asphalt surface and has plenty of benches to rest on. Once you start your trek on the Rock Hollow Trail, you’ll begin to descend to the Al Foster Memorial Trail.

Once you reach the intersection with the Al Foster Memorial trail, the elevation flattens out for an easy walk. Highlights of this trail are the 13 wooden bridges you’ll cross. Be sure to hike this trail in the spring when you’ll get to see wild bluebell flowers blooming. If you access the Rock Hollow Trail via the Al Foster Memorial Trail, you’ll have the opportunity to use the restrooms and picnic tables. Make sure to bring water and food to keep your energy up.

Location:  777 Ridge Road in the parking lot of Ridge Meadows Elementary School or the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Washington Avenue in Wildwood.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

River Scene Trail in Castlewood State Park

The River Scene Trail  is another popular trail in Castlewood State Park. This 3.4-mile trail offers hikers some of the park’s most spectacular views of the Meramec River and valley more than 200 feet below. As you walk this trail, you’ll follow the limestone bluffs above the river valley.

You’ll pass by old stone foundations that were once home to a thriving resort dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. At the end of the trail, you’ll come to a wooden boardwalk that you can take to the valley below. You’ll follow the trail along the Meramec River, going through woodlands and seasonal floodlands. The park staff gives the River Scene Trail a rating of moderate for difficulty, and it takes most people about two and a half hours to walk.

After working up an appetite while hiking the River Scene Trail Loop, take your family for a hearty meal at any of these plant-based restaurants in the Ellisville area.

Location of Castlewood State Park:  1401 Kiefer Creek Road, Ballwin.

Hours:  Daily from 7 a.m. to a half hour after sunset.

Bluff View Trail

If you’re looking for a long trail, consider hiking the Bluff View Trail in Wildwood. This natural surface trail is about 12.7 miles and is shared by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. This single-track trail offers spectacular views of the surrounding area. You’ll pass by landmarks such as Sperm Whale Rock, the Lombard Street Switchbacks, and the Cedar Jungle.

Depending on the season, you’ll see lots of wildflowers, waterfalls, and local wildlife. Due to the length of this trail, come prepared with sturdy shoes, a hat, bug repellant, sunscreen, food, and water. You’ll have access to portable restrooms, trash cans, picnic tables, and a hitching post near the Bluff View Park entrance and the Al Foster Memorial Trailhead.

Location: Bluff View Park, 1900 Old State Road, Wildwood.

Hours: Daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Dogwood Trail in Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

Once you’re in Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, you’ll find the 2-mile Dogwood Trail. This loop trail is only open to hikers, so you won’t have to share the space with mountain bikers or equestrians. Be prepared to encounter several steep inclines as you climb the trail, as there’s an altitude change of nearly 300 feet. You’ll hike through a varied terrain of verdant valleys and wooded forests along the Dogwood Trail. You can take a short detour off the main trail and head to the charming Babler Spring and a cave with interesting rock formations.

Expect to hike for about two hours on this trail. In the main section of Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, you’ll find restrooms, picnic tables, shelters, and a campground. If you decide to spend a few days, you can hike several other trails, visit the River Hills Visitor Center, learn more about the area in the Jacob L. Babler Outdoor Education Center, and explore the Babler Southwoods Hollow Natural Area.

Location:  800 Guy Park Drive, Wildwood.

Hours: April through October from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and November through March from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Closed on select holidays.

Are you ready to lace up your hiking shoes and hit any of these trails around our beautiful area? Are there other trails nearby that we missed? If you know of fabulous places to go walking in nature, let our team at Crème de la Crème of Ellisville know. We’re always interested in learning about new or undiscovered hiking trails to share with our community.