“A trail that follows a narrow creek valley from the Meramec River up to the ridgetop.”
— St. Louis County Parks
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Known for its zombies and bluebells, the Rock Hollow Trail follows a narrow creek valley from the Meramec River up to the ridgetop. This paved trail has some beautiful sections, and the trail is stunning in every season. You can access the trail from the Al Foster Trailhead at Glencoe in Wildwood. The trail is multi-use, and you'll likely see bikers, hikers, and runners on your run.
You'll begin on the Al Foster Trail
before branching onto the Rock Hollow Trail after about one mile. The trail begins to slowly climb the valley which is heavily wooded. When you come to the first bench, look for a small spring that can be found about 40 yards behind the bench at the base of a hill. The moist conditions make this spring pool and run a good habitat for mosses. This spring feeds the main creek, but because of all of the rocks in the main creek, the water disappears among the rock. The water is still flowing but not visible on the surface.
Some of the largest Ohio Buckeyes can be found just north of the first set of benches. The buckeye is one of the first trees to lose its leaves in the fall. Accordingly to folklore, it is thought that carrying buckeye seeds in your pocket can bring good luck; however, the seeds are actually toxic to people and animals if eaten. In middle to late April, the lower valley is covered in bluebells and blue-eyed Marys.
The trail continues all the way up to Ridge Road by Ridge Elementary School, and the last half mile is somewhat steep. Fortunately for summer users, the trail is shaded the entire way. A number of seeps occur along the hillside and huge rock outcroppings can be seen from the trail. Additionally, there are interpretive signs along the trail. Be sure to take the time to fully explore the trail.
Oh yeah! Zombies! Some paranormal groups that have been to the park in years past have discovered some abnormal characteristics. Cold areas, mysterious shadows, and strange lights all have the making of a good urban legend.