The Meramec Greenway was established in 1975 and follows the Meramec River 108 miles west from it’s confluence with the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. The western portion of the Meramec Greenway roughly follows the path of Route 66. There are plans for 60 miles of trails along the Greenway, and several segments are completed and accessible from Route 66.
Yesterday I rode my bicycle on the Fenton Park Trail portion of the Meramec Greenway. This trail segment passes through three parks – Unger Park north of I-44, and Fenton City Park and George Winter Park south of I-44. The total distance from the Unger Park Trailhead to the George Winter Park Trailhead is about 5 miles. There is parking at all three parks, but Fenton City Park, which is in the middle, is the only one with water and restrooms. For the time being, I don’t recommend parking at George Winter Park because there is a bridge out and that portion of the trail is closed.
I stretched my ride to about 10 miles by taking the following route – I parked at Fenton City Park, then rode to George Winter Park until I encountered a barrier (beyond this the bridge is out, so don’t go back there), at which point I turned back to Fenton City Park, then continued to Unger Park to where the trail ends at a railroad track. There was a sign saying the trail was flooded but I found it to be dry. However there was sand on parts of the trail which could mean it was flooded recently. There was an opportunity to do some exploring past the Unger Trailhead by riding around on the streets in the industrial park area beyond the train track, but I decided to save that for another time because I was so hot I was tempted to fling myself into the river! Then I turned around and rode back through Unger Park and back to Fenton City Park where I concluded my ride.
There are a few rough spots here and there on the paved trail, but road bikes should be able to make it. Be careful if you encounter sand, it’s very slippery. A good portion of the trail is shaded by trees, this is nice but keep an eye out for fallen branches. There are a few places where you have to exit the paved trail and share the road with cars, but these spots I found to be lightly traveled and relatively peaceful. Along the way you will see a forested area, a small lake, the river, a golf course, and the old section of Fenton which gives you a nice small-town feeling. You could make your ride longer by exploring more of the streets and doing some loops around Fenton City Park.