Lakeview Loop at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park
The glassy Creve Coeur Lake provides a beautiful background for the 3.7-mile Lakeview Loop at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, a great destination for young bike riders. Access the paved loop trail at parking lots near the Tremayne Shelter at the north end of the lake or near the Taco Bell Shelter at the south end of the lake. Be sure to stop and check out Dripping Springs and look for rowers on the water (Creve Coeur Lake is home to the St. Louis Rowing Club). Creve Coeur Lake is at 2348 Creve Coeur Mill Road, St. Louis, MO 63146; for more information about trails, download the trail map.
DeLyte Morris Bike Trail and Madison County Transit Trails
With more than 100 miles of trails in Madison County, biking options seem limitless, not to mention overwhelming, for those not knowing where to start. A beautiful trail is the DeLyte Morris Bike Trail, 2.8 miles of paved and largely wooded trail that traverses the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Along the way, you'll pedal by The Gardens at SIUE, so be sure to stop and meander through the 35-acre botanical garden. For a longer ride, continue along the MCT Goshen Trail to the east and the MCT Bluff Trail to the west. For more information, visit the MCT website.
Formerly part of the Missouri Pacific railroad line, the 8-mile Grant's Trail is wide, paved and flat. The trail begins at the Orlando Gardens Trailhead, 4300 Hoffmeister Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63125, and ends near the intersection of Leffingwell Avenue and South Holmes Avenue in Kirkwood. Several parking lots dot the trail, which meanders adjacent to Grant's Farm, Affton Athletic Association and plenty of green space. For more information about Grant's Trail, visit the Trailnet website.
Inner Loop Trail at Route 66 State Park
With its storied past, Route 66 State Park (97 North Outer Road, Eureka, MO 63025) provides a haven for young cyclists. Once a summer resort area along the Meramec River, toxins literally closed the town. With a cleanup that is now heralded as one of the nation's environmental success stories, the area boasts flat roads and parking lots that, most days, see more cyclists than cars. The majority of the 2-mile Inner Loop Trail is actually the shoulder of a one-way road through the park, and it's short enough to be tackled by kids riding with training wheels. For the youngest of riders, whose attention shifts quickly, there's a playground, ponds and wetlands to explore. For more information, visit the park's website.
Dardenne Greenway at Rabbit Run
Park-hoppers will love this stretch of the Dardenne Greenway in St. Peters. The three-mile paved trail links four area parks as it winds its way from Woodlands Sports Park (1 Woodlands Parkway, St. Peters, MO 63376) to trails at Dardenne Park (175 Dew Court, St. Peters, MO 63376). Additional trails in the area connect Dardenne Greenway to Rabbit Run Park and Glenn Travis Park. The trail features a bridge spanning Dardenne Creek, and extensive native landscaping add to the beauty of the bike route. For more information about these trails, visit the City of Cottleville's website.
Confluence Trail at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
Ride through bottomland forest and sloughs along the 4.75-mile Confluence Trail at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in North St. Louis County. The paved trail starts at the visitor's center and meanders through the conservation area before ending near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Looking for an excuse to pit stop along the trail? Be sure to watch for several interpretive stations along the route. Note: Some trails are closed due to flooding. For more information, visit the conservation area's website.
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