Hikes,  Kids,  Missouri,  St. Louis

Take a Paved Nature Walk on the Rock Hollow Trail

If you are looking for an easier walk or a good non-muddy trail after a rain, check out the Rock Hollow Trail in Wildwood, Missouri. Part of the St. Louis area Great Rivers Greenway Trail network, this path is great for walking or biking. During the spring, the trail is one of the area’s hotspots for viewing bluebell flowers.

Rock Hollow Trail

  • Distance: 2.3 mile each way, out and back
  • Difficulty: 2/5. Wide and paved, but has a hill heading down
  • Scenic Value: 3/5 most of the year, 4/5 when the bluebells are on display in April.

The now 10′ wide paved path follows the road bed of the Lawler-Ford Road. This historic route was used by Native Americans as a path to cross the Meramec River. It became a well used route during the Civil War before falling into disrepair in the 1980s. The road became known as “Zombie Road” due to a long list of urban legends of hauntings and mysterious events, common with a road so old.

Today, the path is anything but spooky. This route is well used and can be accessed in two different ways. The main trailhead is located at 77 Ridge Road on the parking lot of Ridge Meadows Elementary School. The spots with pavers on the left side of the lot are for trail users. Try to avoid arriving around school pick up or drop off time. There are no restrooms at this trail head.

You can also park at the Al Foster trail and walk 8/10 mile on that trail to reach the other end of the Rock Hollow Trail. The Al Foster Glencoe trail head does have restrooms, picnic areas, and more parking. A playground and miniature railroad are also located there.

Starting from the trail head at the elementary school, the path makes a moderate descent before leveling out.

The trail passes over 13 different bridges along the way. You can keep kids motivated by having them count the bridges. (Or promise them a skittle for each bridge they can beat you to in a walking race. In case you have a 5 year old throw a tantrum after walking 10 feet and refuse to go any further. Not that I would know from experience or anything.)

A small stream runs alongside the trail for much of its length. There is even a wet-weather waterfall that cascades just off the trail.

Spring wildflowers along the trail are beautiful. There are several varieties of blooms to be seen. Benches can found along the trail in case you need a break.

Several other hiking and mountain biking trails connect to the Rock Hollow trail. These paths wind steeply up the hills on both sides. Keep an eye out for bicyclists. (And perhaps zombies.)

At around 1.5 miles from the upper trail head, the bluebells start to appear in mass. These flowers are a beautiful sight as they carpet both sides of the trail and along the creek.

The train tracks of the miniature rail line also come into view. My kids always like to play train and follow the tracks.

The paved trail continues until it intersects with the Al Foster Trail at the 2.3 mile mark. The return trip is then back uphill to the trail head. The slope is mild until the final steeper hill to the top.

Happy Hiking!

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