Visitors Guide to
Parks & Natural Attractions
in St. Louis & St. Louis County
   
   
Dr. Edmund A. Babler
Memorial State Park

800 Guy Park Drive
Wildwood, MO
636-458-3813
  The Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park was created in 1934 and is an on-going commemoration of a well-known St. Louis family. The Civilian Conservation Corps worked to develop the park by cutting roads through the hilly countryside and building scenic viewpoints, trails and covered shelters. Twenty-two CCC structures at Babler State Park are now included in the National Register of Historic Places. This 2,500-acre state park green-space oasis that provides wildlife viewing, more than 13 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, camping, outdoor recreation, and the River Hills Visitor Center.
Castlewood State Park
1401 Kiefer Creek Road
Ballwin, MO
636-227-4433
  The Castlewood area originally provided St. Louis residents a welcome respite from urban life in the early 1900s. City dwellers flocked to several small resort depots along the Meramec River using the Missouri Pacific Railroad for weekends of water fun, dancing and clubhouse partying. The grand staircase at the Castlewood depot led to the big hotels and clubs. Today the park features more than 15 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, picnic facilities, fishing opportunities, canoeing, rafting and sunbathing. The World Bird Sanctuary is located in the park and houses live birds and features interpretive displays on birds of prey and their activities. Visit the Castlewood State Park website for more information.
   
Columbia Bottom
Conservation Area

801 Strodtman Road
St. Louis, MO
314-877-6014
  Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is in north St. Louis County. This 4,318-acre area includes a view of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, over 6.5 miles of river frontage, about 800 acres of bottomland forest and a 110-acre island. Public access facilities include roads, trails, a river access, and a viewing area at the confluence.
Faust Park
15185 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO
314-615-8328
  Faust County Park is one of St. Louis County's most unique parks. Created in 1968 the park is home to many historical and cultural attractions. Visitors to the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House can view butterflies in the glass conservatory or in a natural setting. A historical village preserves the area's architecture and history with ten structures ranging from log to brick and spanning a period from 1840 to 1888. The St. Louis Carousel is an original carousel created by the Dentzel Company of Philadelphia in the 1920s that has been restored. Thornhill is the restored the estate of Frederick Bates, Missouri's second governor.
   
Forest Park
St. Louis, MO
  Forest Park is one of St. Louis' most treasured resources and one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It is the home to the region’s major cultural institutions—the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center and the Muny Opera. It also serves as a sports center for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice-skating, roller blading, jogging, rugby and more.
   
Fort Belle Fontaine
13002 Bellefontaine Road
Spanish Lake, MO
314-544-5714
  Fort Belle Fontaine was established in 1805 on the south bank of the Missouri River near its confluence with the Mississippi River. The Fort was the first U.S. military outpost west of the Mississippi River. The site is preserved today as a St. Louis County Park but no physical evidence of the original structures remains as shifts in the Missouri River channel have long buried the original site underwater. The park also offers sweeping views of the Missouri River and overlooks the location of sites where Lewis and Clark camped in 1804. Also on the grounds are the Grand Staircase built by Works Progress Administration in the 1930s as a scenic overlook and an outdoor living room and barbeque pits.
   
Jefferson National
Expansion Memorial

11 N. 4th Street
St. Louis, MO
314-655-1700
  This national park on the Saint Louis Mississippi riverfront memorializes Thomas Jefferson and others who directed the westward territorial expansion of the United States. The park features Eero Saarinen's prize-winning, stainless steel Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion, and the historic Old Courthouse.
   
John F. Kennedy
Memorial Forest

Wells Drive, Forest Park
St. Louis, MO
314-367-7275
  The John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest consists of approximately 90 acres of varied habitat in the southwest corner of Forest Park. Of the 90 acres, 13 acres south of Wells Drive are what can be called an urban park habitat with mown grass and picnic areas. There are “islands” of forest south of Wells Drive and combined with the forested area north of this thoroughfare, there are approximately 68 acres of timberland. Interspersed along the northern edge of the forest is the oak savanna restoration project which encompasses nearly 9 acres of this rare and endangered habitat. Bicycle and hiking trails criss cross the area.
   
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Boulevard
St. Louis, MO
314-577-5100
  The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the top three botanical gardens in the world and a 79-acre urban oasis of indoor and outdoor display gardens. Known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, the Missouri Botanical Garden contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial Garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Facilities include meeting rooms, classrooms, historical buildings, a restaurant and a gift shop.
   
Powder Valley
Conservation Nature Center

11715 Cragwold Road
Kirkwood, MO
314-301-1500
  Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is 112 acres of oak hickory forest with 3 trails, one of which has interpretive signs and is disabled accessible. The nature center has 2 levels of exhibits related to backyard wildlife and conservation practices in urban areas. Movies are shown every weekend in the 250-seat auditorium. Fish in the large aquarium are fed at 1 pm on Sundays. The gift shop sells MDC produced publications, and educational gift items, as well as licenses.
   
Saint Louis Zoo
#1 Government Drive
Forest Park
St. Louis, MO
314-781-0900
  The Saint Louis Zoo has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide in association with Parenting magazine. The Zoo is home to more than 22,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. The over 800 species represented at the Zoo come from all the major continents and biomes of the world. Set in the rolling hills, lakes and glades of Forest Park, the Saint Louis Zoo is always a great place to be. Features include the Fragile Forest, the River's Edge, the Cypress Swamp with the 1904 Flight Cage, the Insectarium, and Big Cat Country.
   
Sophia M. Sachs
Butterfly House

15193 Olive Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
636-530-0076
  The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House is the only permanent attraction of its kind in Midwest. Its glass conservatory allows visitors to see hundreds of butterflies in free flight and watch the process of metamorphosis. The outdoors Native Habitat, the landscaped grounds of property offers the opportunity to see native butterflies in a natural environment. The center also offers classes and educational programs that increase public knowledge of the world of butterflies. An additional 8,000 square feet adjacent to the Conservatory houses classrooms, a theater, visitor amenities and a gift shop. Visit the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House website for more information.
Suson Park Animal Farm
6059 Wells Road
St. Louis, MO
314-638-2100
  Suson Park is real working farm for urban dwellers to come see and enjoy. The park features a big red barn and features most breeds of farm animals such as draft horses, cows, goats, and feathery fowl. Visit the Suson Park Animal Farm website for more information.
   
World Bird Sanctuary
125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road
Valley Park, MO
636-225-4390
  The World Bird Sanctuary is a unique St. Louis attraction and an entertaining environmental education opportunity. With over 130-acres and 350 animals in their care, the WBS offers a wildlife experience that is one-of-a-kind. Dedicated to preserving the earth's biological diversity and securing the future of birds of prey in their natural environments, the WBS is home to eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, vultures, parrots, mammals and reptiles. A team of naturalists offer an array of education programs covering a variety of environmental topics, all presented in an interactive and humorous style.
   
For Travelers Heading Across the River
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
Scenic Byway

The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area is one of America’s newer scenic byways. With over 20,000 acres of forest and wetlands at the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, it is a nature lovers paradise. Visitors will find spectacular colors in the fall and bald eagles in the winter. History abounds in the region ranging from the prehistoric Cahokia Mounds to sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
For Travelers Heading Up River
  Meeting the Missouri River
The two longest rivers of the United States, the Missouri and the Mississippi, meet at St. Charles County, Missouri. The Historic St. Charles downtown area offers visitors a variety of attractions including the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center, The Foundry Art Centre, and Missouri’s First State Capitol. Nearby is Confluence State Park and the Daniel Boone Home.
For Travelers Heading Down River
  French Colonial Country
Down river of St. Louis and the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area is French Colonial Country. This five county area was heavily influenced by the French fur traders who inhabited the region from 1700 to 1840. Attractions include the town of Ste. Genevieve with the largest concentration of French Colonial architecture in North America, Forts de Chartre and Kaskaskia in Randolph County, and the Cahokia complex in St. Clair County.
   
 
FEATURED ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
U.S. Grant
National Historic Site
Camp River duBois
Hartford, Illinois
Mastodon
State Historic Site
Mississippi
River Ferries
     






 
  Regional Guides
to the Middle Mississippi River Valley
 
       
  Meeting of the Great Rivers
National Scenic Byway
Ste. Genevieve &
French Colonial Country
Gateway to the West
St. Louis & St. Louis County
        
 
   Meeting the Missouri
Historic St. Charles County
The Lincoln Hills Region
Northeast Missouri
   
 
  The Tri-States Area
Iowa, Illinois & Missouri
The Mississippi River
Meets the Ohio River
   
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