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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +606/568 ft
Total: 178 riders
 

Mountain Biking Castlewood State Park

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#46 of 158 mountain bike trails in Missouri
#3129 in the world

This trail system is mostly single track, and varies from long flat stetches on the Meremac River bottoms, to some short hill climbs and descents as you get away from the river. If you start your trek on the bottoms, you can head westward along the river until you find a railroad bridge which you can ride under (Cedar Bluff loop/Blue Ribbon Loop as some like to call it). This will take you to a loop trail that is quite fast and fun up in the hills. When you return on the bottoms, you can then hit the trails around the parking lots (there are several). Most are well marked and well ridden singletrack. Nothing especially challenging, but all quite enjoyable for an afternoon of riding. Castlewood State Park has a website with a good map of the trails. This is a hiker/biker shared system and it can be quite crowded. 15.5 total miles of trail in the park.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • Restrooms 
Getting there
Castlewood State Park (from their website). From I-270 take the Dougherty Ferry Road exit and travel west on Dougherty Ferry to Big Bend Road. Turn right onto Big Bend Road and travel west to Ries Road. Turn left onto Ries Road and continue until reaching the park entrance at the intersection of Kiefer Creek and Ries roads.
System trails (11)
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Castlewood State Park Trail map

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bbyrd001 (on Dec 6, 2019)
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Dry (on Dec 6, 2019)
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Rider questions

Q: Is there actually 20 miles of single track?

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Reviews

  • Doogs12
    Reviewing Justin’s Trail:
    ****

    Can be a short leg burner if not in shape. Tight switchbacks on loose gravel, but if switchbacks are a weak point, this is a great trail to practice on. The downhill after the climb is worth the work.

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  • Doogs12
    Reviewing Lone Wolf:
    ****

    The beginning of this trail will let you know if you are in good cardio shape or not. Immediate climbing on this trail for the first half on loose rocky ground. Once you finally make it to the top, the downhill is super fun, which includes switchbacks, a short technical rock section, and some exposed roots. It is short, but worth the climb in the end.

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  • Doogs12
    Reviewing Roller Coaster:
    *****

    One of my favorite short sections of trail, which connects to grotpeter, to ride. Fast and flowy, just like an up and down roller coaster. Nothing difficult, just fun riding.

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  • Doogs12
    Reviewing Grotpeter:
    ****

    Short loop trail, but requires a decent cardio base with some of the climbs. The loose rock, and short, fast downhill sections will test an intermediate skill base. Some of the trail contains rutted out sections/exposed roots. This is a good trail for cardio and downhill fun. Connect this trail to the roller coaster section, which is not clearly marked, for some up and down flow riding.

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  • Doogs12
    ***

    Easy ride along the river, and if you don't want anything challenging. There are a few unmarked splits along the trail, which can be very confusing. This trail also connects to the Al Foster trail, if you can eventually figure out how to find it. All in all, a nice ride through the woods, bugs and all. The most challenging part is the very beginning (river scene trail area), and all the people walking along some of the blind spots. Can get very crowded, esp. on a nice weekend.

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  • Doogs12
    Reviewing Cedar Bluff Trail:
    ****

    Technical trail with a lot of rocky sections to maneuver over. Plenty of climbing, as well as downhill containing lots of small loose rock. Can gain lots of speed on the downhill, just don't brake to abruptly on turns, the loose rock slid my rear wheel out from under me. Parts of the trail need some tlc as the brush along side the trail appear overgrown in areas. Still a good challenging trail in castlewood park, and a great trail to practice technical skills, just have spare tubes if you don't ride tubeless. Pinch flat city in areas.

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  • Justin Matthew
    *****

    This is my favorite trail to ride in the greate St. Louis area. Some fast and flows sections as well as some fun downhill! Vey well maintained trail system?

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  • CFM
    ***

    As has been stated there is a wide variety of trails here. You will struggle to find your way around without a map even though there are numerous trail markings. Some sections are just rocky fall line runs (ie. Lone Wolf start) but much of the trail winds through the woods without getting too steep. Flat trails exist along the river. I saw how heavily used these trails are by choosing a cool, fall Sunday to ride.

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  • Reviewing Grotpeter:
    ****

    Great trail with lots of roots over a smooth flowing trail although it's sort of short and a tough hill you might have to push your bike up.

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  • TR73
    Reviewing Grotpeter:
    *****

    A great overall trail! It has some good climbs, but also has some fun descends. There is some parts that are rutted out, but overall it's a blast!

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  • TR73
    Reviewing Grotpeter:
    *****

    Great trail will good climbs and fun descents. Some areas are a little rutted, but overall a blast and good little run.

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  • Intensetrail
    Reviewing Office Connector:
    **

    Worthless trail to ride up. It is heavily washed out the many sharp loose rocks are big as navel oranges. For a down hill it is a short quick nearly straight down shot to ranger station so you can pick up tremendous speed, but it is not that fun. I find it to be a tire-wheel toughness / heavy shudder suppension proving test to a bike trail. Ride it slow once to get familiar with it then bomb down it once to test your nerve thats all it is good for.

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  • oldiebutnewbie
    ****

    trails for every skill level. fun place to ride. beautiful views. only drawback is it is the most crowded place in the area. also tends to get the most damage to the trails, ie. widening and ruts. ride early and you'll have a better time.

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  • Stl_Greaser
    ****

    A little more advanced then river scene but not by much. if you are getting bored and don't want to step up to the more advanced trial this would be your next step. There is a little more elevation change to this trail and some tighter turns. you can also use this to connect Al Foster trail and Cedar bluff trails.

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  • Stl_Greaser
    Reviewing Roller Coaster:
    *****

    As the name states, fast flowy single track. use this trail to connect Mountain ridge connector and lower Grotpeter for a nice fun beginner to intermediate 5 mile loop and get a little of every think. some nice climbs to get the blood pumping. great fast singletrack get the grin growing and a blazing descent with a few close trees and small drops to get the adrenalin flowing! get out and ride!

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  • Stl_Greaser
    Reviewing River Scene:
    ***

    This is the easiest trail in the park and is a good place for beginners or to warm up for your climb up lone wolf. there are a bunch of branches of the trial weaving in and out and is quite wide at some areas. Can be ridden pretty fast when the park is not busy but on the weekends look out for the hikers and other trail users that like to walk shoulder to shoulder!

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  • Stl_Greaser
    Reviewing Office Connector:
    *

    Good luck climbing this one. super eroded and nothing but jagged rocks not a very fun trail at all and is just a way to get back down to the trail head in a hurry if you need to. it is a very steep climb and or downhill depending on your direction of travel. either way no fun in my book.

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  • Stl_Greaser
    *****

    This is how I start all of my rides at Castlewood Park. It is a nice moderate climb al the way to the top and gets you nice and warmed up for the sweet singletrack to come. Enjoy the beautiful hardwood forest on your way up and keep an eye up for deer on this ride. The one section with a little erosion was just rerouted and can use some more tires on it so come out and get some singletrack!

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