Best Place to Hike - 2008
Russell E. Emmenegger Nature Park
Emmenegger Park doesn't offer quite the natural beauty or tranquility of many regional hiking destinations (cf. Babler State Park, Shaw Nature Reserve). But you've got to hand it to this 124-acre preserve in southwest Kirkwood. It sure is convenient. Just a stone's throw from the intersection of Interstates 270 and 44, Emmenegger makes for an easy getaway whenever you have an hour or two to spare. Enter the park from the site of the old Kirkwood swimming pool at the end of Stoneywood Drive. From there it's an easy jaunt to the asphalt walkway that winds its way leisurely through the park's forested creek bed. Feeling more adventurous? Climb the dirt-and-mulch trail to the west of the park for a semi-arduous, 1.5-mile hike along the bluffs overlooking the Meramec River.