A mere half hour from downtown St. Louis, this local state park offers a magnitude of trails, providing something for everyone. There are trail types for everyone, from paved pathways to steep rocky single track. Trail lengths very from 1.5 miles to 4.5 miles with plenty of side-trails to create longer or shorter routes. Scenery varies from flat river-bottom trails to trails along a meandering creek or the wide Meramec River, to rocky bluffs and ridgelines with sweeping views of the Meramec River and valley. Get the most "bang for your buck" (view-wise) by hiking the River Scene Trail which climbs to the top of bluffs with amazing views of the Meramec River which it parallels for a bit before descending a staircase (which passes historical remnants of riverside resorts dating back to the 1920s). Once down the stairs, follow the river back to the parking lot. This popular hike is 3 miles. The park's website http://mostateparks.com/park/castlewood-state-park provides a map with driving directions. It is located in suburban St. Louis and very easy to access! The park gates open at 7am and close a half hour after sunset year round.