This morning Son Tony and I got in the car for a five-minute trip. Our destination was a trailhead in Valley Park for the Meramec Greenway, a new-to-me trail.
The Greenway follows the Meramec River from its confluence with the Mississippi River to the east. Eventually, there will be a 60-mile trail along the greenway, but now only sections of it are complete. The Arnold's Grove segment we used today has only been there for a couple of years. I've driven by the trailhead parking lot (off of 141 just north of the Meramec) on a regular basis. Every time I'd drive by, I'd think, "I should try out that trail some time". Today was the day.
The city of Valley Park has been flooded quite a few times over the years, but they now have a nice network of levees and flood gates. The Arnold's Grove trailhead and parking lot are on top of the levee, but the paved trail quickly descends to the level of the river, then parallels it for about three and a half miles. After a couple of minutes of walking, except for some muffled noises from nearby Marshall Road we could have been miles from civilization.
There was some dense plant growth between the river and the trail so it was often difficult to see. That was OK, though, because the river was low, and not very scenic. Shortly after we started walking we felt a couple of rain drops. They increased, and soon we were walking through a light drizzle, but the tree canopy over the trail was thick and blocked the rain in a quite a few spots.
I don't know if it was the weather or because it was a weekday morning, but we only saw a couple of other people. We walked a little over two miles, then the rain started getting the better of us. That, and the fact it was getting close to lunchtime and we were getting hungry caused us to turn around. By time we got back to the car, I was damp, my stomach was growling, and my feet hurt, but I was glad I'd finally explored the trail. I can't wait to do it again.