Cliff Cave Park is a St. Louis County Park. The cave has a long and varied history of being used as a tavern in the 1700s, then part of the Cliff Cave Wine Company in the mid 1800s and finally used by Jefferson Barracks soldiers for recreation. In 1969 Cliff Cave was purchased by the county and opened as a park in 1977.
Last year the park received upgraded trails and facilities. Two miles of trail extensions were added to provide a connector to the Great Rivers Greenway. Now there are even more paved trails and two nice bridges to connect the loop trails as well.
Our kids loved running over the bridges. One bridge crosses over the road while the other passes over a stream and waterfall. There is an easy side trail by one of the bridges that leads down to the stream that runs from the spring at the cave entrance.
If you are a little (or big) rail fan, the trail crosses the railroad tracks at one point near the lower parking lot.
The park also features several earthen trails if you want a quieter hike. There is a nice overlook of the Mississippi from on top of the bluffs where the paved Mississippi trail and the River Bluff Trail meet. The lower trails are subject to flooding and were closed during our visit with the current flood levels.
So if you are looking for an easy hike not far from the city, this is a scenic and historic spot to check out. The upper lot further north is closer to the River Bluff Trail while the lower lot is closer to the Mississippi Trail and the cave and waterfall. Any of the trails can be started from either lot as the paved section connects them all. Both lots have restrooms as well.
The park is open 8 a.m. through 30 min past sunset.
More info and trail map can be found here.