Best Hike near St. Louis
May 1, 2014 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I remember reading in an old Backpacker Magazine the Best Hikes in the Midwest, and number one was a few hours outside of St. Louis. But I don't remember what it was and I can't find it online! Failing someone finding that, I would like recommendations for a place within 3 hours of St. Louis where we could hike a couple hours and then camp for the night.

It will be a small group of 20 somethings and we'd like beautiful scenery, and hiking that isn't too insane. A BBQ or place to make a fire would be great but we'd be ok with just cooking on camp stoves as well.
posted by saul wright to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Giant City or Ferne Clyffe State Parks in Illinois would be high on my list. In Missouri, Trail of Tears isn't bad.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2014

Mark Twain National Forest or the Ozark Trail?
posted by megancita at 12:55 PM on May 1, 2014

In the article: Midwest America's Best Day Hikes from May of 2009, they recommend Cathedral Canyon near Fredrickstown, MO. They aren't ranked, but Cathedral Canyon is listed as the best gorge hike.
posted by fixedthefernback at 1:13 PM on May 1, 2014

Best answer: I would recommend the Whispering Pine Trail in Hawn State Park. It is generally recognized as one of the best hiking trails in the state.

It starts off with a clear, beautiful stream and gorgeous rock formations. And then you cllimb upwards, to "sprawling treetop panoramas." And then there's the magical, piney part. I love this hike.

They have a campground, too, and there are a couple of places to camp along the trail.
posted by Ostara at 3:33 PM on May 1, 2014

Best answer: This is a self-link, because I copy-edited this, but here's a feature that just came out about this (see the Hiking section at bottom). I know in compiling this list, the writers drew on several books like the one you mention and talked to some local experts on parks in the area.
posted by limeonaire at 5:33 PM on May 1, 2014

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