Description - Note: This information was provided by www.mostateparks.com.
A trip to Castlewood State Park gives visitors a first-hand look at the area's glorious past. At the same time, the natural beauty of the Meramec River and the surrounding open spaces offer a serene escape from urban life.
Between 1915 and 1940, thousands of St. Louis residents traveled by train each weekend to the Castlewood area for water fun, dancing and clubhouse partying. Today, the 1,779-acre Castlewood State Park preserves the history of the former resort. The park stretches for nearly five miles, straddling both sides of the Meramec River. It incorporates much of the old resort area, including the grand staircase that once led revelers up to the large hotels and clubs. Although the hotels and clubs are gone, the staircase and the lure of the region remain.
Hike the River Scene Trail that ascends to the top of the majestic limestone bluffs towering above the river. Stand 250 feet below on the riverbank among the trees of the native floodplain forest. Angle for bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish in the cool waters of the Meramec River. Eat a relaxing lunch before strolling through meadows and along the spring-fed Kiefer Creek. The possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours.
- There are two picnic shelters available at the park for use. Shelter 1 can comfortably seat 100 people; Shelter 2 seats 70 people. Each shelter has a 4 foot by 4 foot barbecue grill, water fountain, restroom and play space for volleyball, soccer, softball or other group activities. A volleyball net is provided but you will need to bring your own recreational equipment. The shelters can be reserved for the day for a fee of $40. If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need a place for a family or company picnic, please call the park office at (636) 227-4433 to make a reservation.
Recreation - There are several miles of river frontage throughout the park. The river can be accessed via the launch ramp area or along the River Scene Trail. There are a number of deep holes, shallow ripples, under cut banks, logjams, root wads and rocky areas that provide cover for the fish. Fish common to the lower Meramec River include channel catfish, flathead catfish, carp, drum, gar, walleye, crappie, bluegill, longear sunfish and bass. All statewide regulations and license requirements apply. Special limits have been set for spotted bass in the lower Meramec; please check Missouri Wildlife Code for all applicable rules.
There is a concrete boat launch located at the end of Kiefer Creek Road. There are no launch fees. Due to the presence of a large sand bar at the base of the ramp, it is recommended that you only attempt to launch watercraft (kayaks, canoes and small boats) that can be carried. During times of low water levels, it is approximately 90 feet across loose sand from the end of the ramp to the edge of the river. During times of higher water levels when the river actually is up to the ramp, boats can be launched normally. When the river reaches or exceeds flood stage (16 feet at the Valley Park gauge), the ramp is closed. For current river conditions, call the park office at (636) 227-4433.
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.
1401 Kiefer Creek Road
Ballwin, MO 63021