Features: River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
You can access this trail from the Riverside Shelter parking lot. This paved trail circles the floodplain bottoms and is flat and easy. During the summer months, there is little shade along the route so be sure to bring plenty of water. You can see some of the wetlands and bottomland woodlands as you hike along the trail. This area is subject to periodic flooding from the Mississippi the trail user should be aware of flood conditions as the trail will be closed to the public in the event of flooding.
Keep your eyes open for the native grasses and wildflowers that are planted all along the Riverside Shelter, parking lot and portions of the trail. These drought-resistant plants provide excellent wildlife habitat and are native to the St. Louis area. Every couple of years, the prairie areas are burned to help maintain healthy grow.
You'll also come across a large wetland that lies along the railroad tracks. If you believe some people, it is home to an alligator, Missouris first. During the summer, you may see great blue herons and egrets, and in the spring and fall, the area attracts hundreds of migratory ducks, geese, and other waterfowl.
The trees in the woodland area, while not very diverse, are all able to survive the flood prone habitat. You'll see silver maple, sycamore, cottonwood, black willow and box elder.