Just less than an hour west of downtown Saint Louis lies a sprawling green oasis that both two- and four-legged nature lovers will appreciate! One of Missouri's more pawpular state parks, the Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park offers 2,441 acres to explore and myriad recreational activities to enjoy. So grab your gear and bring your furry friend along—an outdoor adventure awaits!
With over 17 miles of trails meandering throughout the site, many hikers come to the Babler Memorial State Park to stretch their legs and discover the natural beauty of the area. The Hawthorn Trail is the shortest at 1.2 miles long, but offers a diversity of geology not found anywhere else in the park. The southwestern portion of the trail winds among dry soil, sparse plants, and exposed rock, while the northeastern side travels among lush plants, including groves of pawpaw trees.
For a challenging hike, hit the Dogwood Trail located in the heart of the park. Spanning 2 miles, this rugged trail includes several steep inclines, exposed flint-like rock, green valleys, and heavily wooded sections. To see 200-year-old trees up close, check out the Babler Southwoods Hollow Natural Area near the campground. This area features an old-growth forest of white oaks and sugar maples that has remained undisturbed since pre-settlement times!
If you and Fido need to pawse from exploring, there are more than 200 picnic sites scattered around the park where you can rest your legs and dig into a packed lunch. The park also offers 75 basic and electric campsites for visitors who wish to extend their adventure. Reservations are accepted year-round, but note that the showers and modern restrooms are not available during the off-season.
Wherever you and your pup go in the park, always keep Fido on a 10-foot leash and clean up after them (bring your own bags). For a pawsome nature getaway near Saint Louis, look no further than the Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park!