Best Place to Hike - 2003
Castlewood State Park
It's hardly as remote as the Mark Twain National Forest or the rugged Ozarks, but Castlewood State Park is as close to nature as you can get inside the metro area. Just a half-hour's drive from downtown and mere minutes away from the suburbs of Ballwin, Castlewood straddles the Meramec River and offers more than fifteen miles of trails. The most popular trails -- the River Scene, Grotpeter and Lone Wolf trails -- run along the river, meandering until climbing the park's 250-foot bluffs. But Castlewood also contains a part of the hilly and rough Chubb Trail, connecting to West Tyson County Park for a round trip of fourteen miles and providing spectacular views of the river along the way.