The Chubb Trail and its companion paths offer everything a good hike should have—challenging climbs and descents from windy ridges and cool, calm hollows, to easy meanders next to the Meramec River where you’ll spot lots of wildlife. The Chubb Trail wanders through a scenic landscape on the Meramec River’s south shore, exploring 3 beautiful parks on its 7-mile run. West Tyson County Park is the trail’s western terminus, and Lone Elk County Park anchors the east end. Between the two county parks, the 3-mile Castlewood Loop explores an undeveloped tract of Castlewood State Park. But you don’t need to hike this entire point-to-point trail to see its beauty. Side trails let you break the Chubb into treks from 2.5 miles to 14 miles. Even shorter hikes can be found on the Chinkapin and Buck’s Run trails in West Tyson County Park. The variety of terrain along the Chubb makes it one of the best hikes in the St. Louis area. In its western reaches the trail winds among the rugged Crescent Hills of West Tyson Park, twisting and turning over mossy, rugged rock ledges, challenging you with one long climb and several short steep ones. When the terrain finally eases next to the Meramec River, the character of the landscape changes dramatically. You’ll cross the William Epstein Memorial Prairie, glimpsing a remnant of the 55,000 acres of grasslands that once covered much of St. Louis County. Next the trail winds among huge trees in a moist bottomland for 2 miles to intersect with the Castlewood Loop. The Castlewood Loop explores another wide-open prairie landscape and more river-bottom forest. The Castlewood Bluffs tower over the Meramec River to the north, contrasting beautifully with the gentle landscape south of the river. The diverse landscape through which the Chubb wanders attracts a wide variety of wildlife. You’ll see herons, kingfishers, geese, and a variety of ducks on the river, and pileated, downy, and redbellied woodpeckers inhabit the forest. Turkeys are thick along the Meramec. Even if you don’t see them you’ll probably spot their tracks in muddy patches of the trail. Barred owls are common here, and in winter keep a sharp eye on riverside trees—you might spot an eagle perched over the Meramec. When packing your field guides for this hike, don’t bring just the bird book. The hillsides, bottomlands, and prairies grow a fine crop of wildflowers, too. Scenery: Forested hills with rocky outcrops, windy highlands, and several beautiful stretches next to the Meramec River.
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Directions to: Chubb Trailprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Skill Level||Moderate to difficult|
|Duration||3 hours to all day|
|Season||Year-round, best spring and fall|
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