Description - **Note: This information was provided by www.mostateparks.com.
A massive stone gateway greets visitors to Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, framing the broad avenue that leads up the hill to the large bronze statue of Dr. Edmund A. Babler, the park's namesake. Jacob L. Babler's love of nature and his desire to commemorate his brother, a prominent St. Louis surgeon, came together to create this unique gift to the people of Missouri.
Here, memories are created -- afternoons of softball or volleyball, of cooking on an open grill, or swimming under the hot summer sun in the Olympic-sized pool. Guided horseback trails weave through the park's deep sheltered valleys and towering forests of oaks and sugar maples. Thirteen miles of hiking trails ensure a variety of rewarding outdoor experiences. A visitor center with exhibits illustrates the wonders of the park's natural communities; classrooms and an auditorium are available for special programs.
The park also provides experiences for those with special needs at the Jacob L. Babler Outdoor Education Center, a barrier-free resident camp with swimming pool, cabins and recreation and dining halls.
You can have it both ways at Babler State Park -- spend a peaceful night camping under the stars, and still be only minutes from downtown St. Louis.
- Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park offers basic and electric campsites, group camping and special-use camping areas. Services available include reservable campsites, a dump station, showers and water.
The shelters, Cochran, Alta and Walnut Grove, make a great venue for family gatherings or special outings, and may be reserved at a rate of $40 per day. If not reserved, the shelters may be used on a first-come, first-served basis. Cochran Shelter’s capacity is approximately 70 occupants and it is equipped with a fireplace. Alta Shelter, the largest of the three, can occupy up to 130 people, and has three fireplaces and two barbecue grills. Walnut Grove Shelter will hold up to 56 people and has a barbecue grill.
Recreation - An Olympic-size swimming pool is open Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day. Pool hours are 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The park occupies over 2,400 acres and is known for its heavily wooded terrain. Four short trails give the hiker an opportunity to experience the old-growth forest. Much of the park's land consists of loess mounds - soil piled up after the most recent retreats of the glaciers that made their way to the Missouri River just north of the park. This can lead to some muddy hiking after rainy periods. None of the trails are longer than two miles in length and the shortest is just over one mile long. Each trail has its own features, and three of them are joined by connector trails if a longer hike is desired.
Many opportunities for nature observation and study can be found along the trails. In the spring, the park is known for its wildflower variety. Throughout the year, deer and turkey are plentiful. The small mammal population of squirrel, raccoon and rabbit has a ready supply of food and shelter from the oaks and hickories that dominate the forest trees. The fall brings spectacular displays of color that can last for almost two months because of the diversity of trees that are present and their staggered times for changing color. Winter gives the hiker the opportunity to see the shape of the land and appreciate the massive trees whose trunks and height are clearly visible in the absence of understory foliage.
Climate - Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.
In Wildwood, MO. Only minutes from downtown St. Louis