Almost every greenway is either named for, connected to, meanders alongside or crosses over one of our region’s rivers or creeks. Whether it’s the Mighty Mississippi or Dardenne Creek, greenways are great places to not only see stunning river views, but also enjoy the calming side effects of flowing water. There’s a good chance you’ll also spot some of the many birds and animals who make their home or migrate along the rivers. Here are 10 amazing river views you can enjoy on foot or bike via a greenway:
1. Mississippi River at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Take the Mississippi Greenway: Chouteau Riverfront to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (Riverfront Trail) to its northernmost point and walk or ride out to the center of the Historic Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. Depending on the season, you might spot a family of eagles. Look downstream and you can see the Gateway Arch. Listen closely and you can hear the water rippling over the chain of rocks below. If you want to drive, park on the Illinois side of the bridge here.
2. Missouri River at the Page Avenue Extension/364 Bridge Walking & Biking Lane
The Page Avenue Extension/364 Bridge has a dedicated walking and biking lane that connects to the Katy Trail at mile 42.8 just south of the Family Arena in St. Charles County. On the east side, it connects to the 3.6 mile Creve Coeur Park Connector Trail. In the middle of the bridge there is a bump-out where you can pause to enjoy a bird’s- eye view of the Missouri River. The Centennial Greenway: Katy Trail to Schaefer Park and Spencer Creek Trail connects to this bridge on the St. Charles County side. In St. Louis County, you can take the Fee Fee Greenway: Aquaport to Creve Coeur Park all the way from the Maryland Heights Community Center, through the park to link up with the Connector Trail to the bridge.
3. Mississippi River from Mississippi Greenway: River City Casino to Jefferson Barracks Park
This section of the Mississippi River Greenway offers magnificent views of the river as it stretches from Jefferson Barracks County Park north along the river. Be sure to slow down to watch the barges working the river. Plan your visit here.
4. Missouri River at Sunset Park
The more the leaves fall, the better the views of the Missouri River in Sunset Park via the Sunset Greenway: Old Town Florissant to Sunset Park. Plan to spend the day exploring this greenway and finish with a sunset!
5. Mississippi River at Cliff Cave Park
The Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park offers stunning views of the river from an overlook nestled into the rocky bluffs towering 170 feet over the river. You can also watch the river flow by on the paved 5 mile greenway in the lower section of the park.
6. Missouri River on the Boone Bridge
The walking and biking path on the I-64 Daniel Boone Bridge lets you slow down and enjoy the Missouri River from the middle of the bridge—something you can’t do in a car. You can connect to the bridge via the Busch Greenway and Katy Trail in St. Charles County. The Missouri Greenway: Monarch Chesterfield Levee will get you there too!
7. Meramec River at Lower Meramec Park
The greenway and St. Louis County Park not only offers great river views, but also serves as a natural flood plain so the river can spread out during high water and flooding. As you walk or ride, you’ll enjoy a mixture of woodlands and open fields. The trees are highly diverse with some of the best remaining woodlands in the Lower Meramec Valley. Plan your visit here.
8. Meramec River at Al Foster Trail
Views of the river from the Al Foster Trail along the Meramec Greenway is sure to improve your mood as you meander through a bottomland forest next to soaring limestone bluffs. It’s a must see! Plan your visit here.
9. Meramec Greenway: Greentree Park to Arnold’s Grove
The Meramec River makes a big turn near Kirkwood’s Greentree Park and it’s especially lovely to watch the light sparkling on the water in the morning and late afternoon. You can start your walk or ride in Greentree Park and follow the river all the way to Arnold’s Grove in Valley Park…or vice versa. Either way it’s a great way to enjoy the Meramec River. Plan your visit here.
10. Missouri River via the MO 370 Discovery Bridge
Just completed in summer 2020, the protected bicycle and pedestrian path on the westbound side of the MO 370 Discovery Bridge offers beautiful views of the Missouri River. You can get there via a paved connector from the Missouri Greenway: Earth City Levee just north of Highway 370 at the trailhead on Missouri Bottom Rd. In St. Charles County, you can connect to the bridge via a paved connection near the Katy Trail access in DuSable Park on the north side of 370 off N. River Rd. You can also make your way there from the Boschert Greenway.
BONUS #11. Mississippi River at downtown St. Louis Riverfront
This is St. Louis after all, so we couldn’t forget the southern end of the Mississippi Greenway: Chouteau Riverfront to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (Riverfront Trail). There’s nothing better than watching the Mighty Mississippi roll by beneath the Gateway Arch!