Meramec Greenway: Glencoe to Sherman Beach Park

This section of the Meramec Greenway, also known as the Al Foster Memorial Trail, has some of the more beautiful views in the River Ring. From the soaring limestone bluffs, the wildflowers in the springtime, and the ever-changing views of the Meramec River, it has something for everyone.

Made of crushed limestone, the trail stretches three miles from the trailhead near the intersection of Old State Road and Highway 109 by the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific miniature railroad at Glencoe along the river to Sherman Beach. Near Glencoe, a spur called Rock Hollow runs north for 2.2 miles to Ridge Meadows Elementary School on Ridge Road.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 38.5359 Longitude: -90.580688 Elevation: 439 ft

Recreational Opportunities

Visitors traveling along the Al Foster Memorial Trail can access Rockwoods Reservation, Sherman Beach and Castlewood State Park. (PLEASE NOTE that the trail between Sherman Beach County Park and Castlewood State Park is primitive, and a complete trail washout has occurred at the Castlewood Narrows section of the trail within Castlewood State Park. Visitors are advised to choose shoes and bike tires accordingly.)

There are several trails that connect within this greenway, making it possible to walk or bike for several miles on paved and unpaved paths surrounding the Meramec River.

The Rock Hollow Trail stretches from atop Ridge Road, 2.2 miles down the bluff where it connects to this greenway. Rock Hollow is paved and mostly shady, with soaring bluffs through a dense forest. The nearby Western Greenway, also known as the Hamilton Carr trail, includes a 1.6-mile paved asphalt trail that connects the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific miniature railroad in Glencoe to Rockwoods Reservation. There are two tunnels – one under Old State Road and the other under Highway 109 – that make it much safer for people who are walking or riding bikes to cross these busy roads.

The area surrounding the Al Foster Memorial Trail has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Many songbird and woodland warbler species are drawn to nest and feed in the secluded forest habitat.

Rockwoods Reservation is a popular destination for bird watching, picnicking, hiking and camping, and is home to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s wildlife education programs.

The greenway also passes by Glencoe City Park, where there are picnic areas, grills and a playground.

The Al Foster Memorial Trail retraces the original route of the Missouri Pacific Railroad that expanded west from St. Louis in 1851. Seasonal, weekly train rides for all ages are available on the one-of-a-kind 12-inch gauge, live steam railroad at the Wabash, Frisco, and Pacific station along the greenway. The ride is two miles long and travels along the scenic Meramec River.

Seasons Accessible

The Meramec Greenway is open year-round. Please note that the trail is not plowed of snow or ice.

Fees

There is no fee to visit the greenway

Accessibility Notes

The Al Foster trail is flat and accessible to wheelchairs.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash.

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