Mississippi Greenway Master Plan

Master Plan

EADS-MISSISSIPPIThe 32 mile Mississippi Greenway (formerly known as the Confluence Greenway) is a major greenway with a master plan to connect with the Missouri Greenway, Maline Greenway, the Trestle, the Arch grounds, Gateway Mall and Mississippi Greenway south of downtown St. Louis. To advance this plan, Great Rivers Greenway has invested more than $31 million in land acquisition and greenway construction since 2001.

Projects include the Confluence Point State Park in St. Charles County, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and Riverfront Trail in the City of St. Louis, the McKinley Bridge Bikeway and Branch Street Trestle and the Trestle in the City of St. Louis.

Current Status Mississippi Greenway North of Downtown:

The Mississippi Greenway: Chouteau Riverfront to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge 12.5-mile (Riverfront Trail) winds through both sides of the flood wall that protects the City of St. Louis and offers views of the working riverfront that even most native St. Louisans have never seen before. The new 1.5 mile extension from Biddle to Chouteau opened in June 2016 and will connect to the new circulation pathways on the Gateway Arch grounds when the project is complete.  This is part of the CityArchRiver partnership.

Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis are looking at several areas along the greenway that could benefit from design modifications to decrease conflicts between recreational users and vehicles that need access for commerce along the industrial riverfront. Plans for this study are in development.

Future Connections


The Trestle is the abandoned, elevated rail line, the green painted bridge across Interstate 70. This is a major initiative that is approximately $60 million, which our taxpayer funding cannot cover alone. We did a feasibility study for a fundraising campaign last year and the St. Louis donor community was not ready for us to launch a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds. We’re continuing to refine the plan and maintain the structure, but will need a comprehensive partner effort with major private or grant investment to move forward. It’s in the plans but may not move forward just yet.

North Riverfront Open Space and Redevelopment Plan

Great Rivers Greenway has been working in collaboration with the City of St. Louis, Metro, MoDOT, Laclede’s Landing Merchants Association and other stakeholders on various studies to enhance the area known as the North Riverfront. This project area is defined as the St. Louis Riverfront with Eads Bridge on the south, the new Stan Musial/ Veterans Memorial Bridge on the north, the Mississippi River on the east, and Highway I-44 to the west.  (Click here for a larger map.)

The overall goal of the Open Space and Redevelopment Plan is to promote economic revitalization of the North Riverfront by transforming vacant property along the Mississippi River into public parks and recreation amenities as well as encouraging private enterprise.

Park and Open Space Plan Area is outlined in yellow.
Park and Open Space Master Plan area is outlined in yellow. Click on the photo to enlarge.

In November 2015, the Great Rivers Greenway board approved a resolution to adopt the plan. The City of St. Louis Planning Commission also approved the plan in December 2015. This overall plan is conceptual in nature, and many partners are needed to bring it to life. Our role is focused, of course, on the park and open spaces parts of the overall plan. The plan focuses on a 21-acre portion of the overall North Riverfront Area (see map, left) and reflects the goals and objectives identified in the larger plan. The goals for the design of the park are:

To promote wellness

To incorporate innovative storm water techniques designed to withstand flood events

To include innovative programming for residents and visitors that cannot be found elsewhere along the riverfront.

The steering Committee for this project (Great Rivers Greenway and City of St. Louis) met in November 2016 to review the status of the project and discuss next steps for 2017.  In 2017, the team will focus on the two parcels of land owned by Great Rivers Greenway and continue to bring the design to a higher level.

If you would like to view the full plan for this area, please click here for a link to DropBox.

If you would like to see the material from the July 8, 2015 Open House for this project, please click here.

If you have further questions, please email Great Rivers Greenway Director of Planning, Todd Antoine at tantoine@grgstl.org.



Current Status Mississippi Greenway South of Downtown:

The master plan for the southern portion of the Mississippi Greenway extends it nine miles from downtown St. Louis to the River des Peres Greenway and then ten miles further to the Meramec Greenway. Currently, there are two completed greenways along the Mississippi Greenway–Cliff Cave County Park and Jefferson Barracks to River des Peres.

Mississippi Greenway: Jefferson Barracks to River des Peres extends 1.6 miles from the trailhead in Jefferson Barracks Park to the northern edge of the River City Casino Property along the River des Peres. Construction is underway to connect it to the River des Peres Greenway at Alabama Ave. Visitors to Jefferson Barracks Park in St. Louis County can use this greenway to get an up close view of the Mississippi River, and will eventually be able to walk or ride all the way to Carondelet Park or the Lansdowne-Shrewsbury MetroLink Station.

Cliff-Cave-May-22-pictures-041Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave County Park is a 4.7 mile loop (paved) nestled in a unique park that gets its name from the cave tucked in the bluffs of south St. Louis County. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails as well as picnic areas and shelters.


Future Connections

Mississippi Greenway to River des Peres Greenway:
Construction to connect the Mississippi Greenway to the River des Peres Greenway is underway! It is extending the River des Peres Greenway from its current endpoint at Alabama Ave. to the current endpoint of the Mississippi Greenway at the northern edge of the River City Casino.

Construction between Alabama and Broadway is largely complete, and is already seeing use by cyclists and pedestrians, but the remainder of the extension from Broadway to the River City Casino is temporarily on hold.

Great Rivers Greenway, in partnership with the Metropolitan Sewer District, is currently planning some repairs to the banks of the River des Peres along the path of the greenway as well as some sewer line improvements. These matters will need to be addressed before the remainder of the trail can be constructed. Stay tuned for additional updates.

Cliff Cave Park:

Construction on the extension of the Mississippi Greenway in Cliff Cave County Park is underway!

Following meetings with the St. Louis County Executive’s office and Councilman Ernie Trakas, Great Rivers Greenway and St. Louis County Parks is proceeding with the  project!

Tree removal along the greenway path is complete. Following guidelines provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, all tree removal was conducted while the bats that roost in these trees – including the endangered Indiana Bat – were still hibernating in nearby Cliff Cave (You can learn more about the bats here: www.greatriversgreenway.org/bats). In addition to trees along the greenway path, contractors also removed  invasive plants—including harmful Bush Honeysuckle—that are choking out native plants and other trees within the park. When the project is complete there will be more than a thousand native trees, shrubs, sedges and flowers planted along the trail to restore and boost the native ecology of the greenway.

It is yet to be determined whether the trail will connect with Telegraph Road upon its completion. A safety assessment of the planned crossing at Telegraph Road will be conducted this summer. By August 1, if the study determines that the connection is indeed safe, we will move forward with our existing plans for the planned connection. Otherwise, a turnaround will be added to the trail about 1,500 feet east of Telegraph, and the path that was cleared for construction access will be replanted.

Thanks to everyone who has voiced their support, concerns and perspectives regarding this project. We are grateful for your patience and input and we will continue to provide updates throughout construction. As always, contact us anytime with questions.

Construction is underway on a new greenway (paved, ADA accessible) that will connect the existing trail within Cliff Cave Park up the bluff to the scenic overlook, and a neighborhood spur out to Telegraph Road.
Click here for the latest update on this project (February 27, 2017)
Click here to see the presentation from our October 13, 2016 Open House
Click here to see the presentation boards from our January 13, 2016 Open House or click here for a recap and update from the open house.

Sister Marie Charles & Bellerive Park:
We have been working with the City of St. Louis to create a connection between Sister Marie Charles and Bellerive Parks. Trail construction is underway and is substantially complete. Landscaping will take place in the spring along with other finishing touches once the warmer weather returns!