Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 19, 2022 – Starting Jan.1, 2023, equestrians heading to Castlewood State Park will find some changes to one of the trails they may have been accustomed to riding.

Public support from the conceptual development plan process caused park officials to look at equestrian use on the Grotpeter Trail and its associated connector trails. The process included two public meetings, one  Sept. 17, 2020 and the other July 29, 2021. The public was invited to fill out comment cards and participate in an online survey. From these meetings, park officials determined that the public was concerned with several issues, which lead them to the close the trail. Public concerns included:

  • Parking issues associated with high park visitation and a poor equestrian staging area.
  • Safety concerns in the high visitation day-use area.
  • Misuse of non-designated trails.
  • Erosion of the trail.
  • Low frequency of equestrian use.

The trail is still open to hikers and cyclists. However, the park will implement the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks Trail Closures policy to better protect the trails from erosion due to use when trail surfaces are wet.

While the Grotpeter Trail is closed, there are other nearby options for equestrian trails. These include:

  • Castlewood State Park trails – Castlewood Loop Trail (2.8 miles) and Chubb Trail (2 miles).
  • West Tyson Park in St. Louis County – 7 miles of trail.
  • Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park – 6.2 miles of trail.
  • Bluff View Park in Wildwood – 12.7 miles of trail.
  • Route 66 State Park – 7.7 miles of trail.

Castlewood State Park is located at 1401 Kiefer Creek Road near Ballwin.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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