Maramec Spring Park is located just outside of St. James, Missouri which is about 2 hours southwest of St. Louis. This place has been on my list to visit forever now and we finally made the trek down there. Usually there is a per car entrance fee, but since we visited in the off season, all of the administration buildings were closed so we were able to enter for free. The park is privately owned and operated by the James Foundation.
It is really difficult to describe this place because it is just so beautiful. It almost felt magical. We first walked along the boardwalk back to the spring. An abundance of trout swim in the waters next to you since this park is home to one of four trout hatcheries in the state of Missouri. The boardwalk wraps around the crystal clear, blue green spring beneath a rock overhang. Maramec Spring is the 5th largest spring in the state.
We followed the path around and we even got to see an employee feeding the fish! There were so many fish, it looked like the water was bubbling!
We took our time walking along the spring branch, taking in the beautiful views.
Next, we checked out the ruins of the historic Maramec Iron Works which operated from 1827-1876. The iron works operated by using hydropower from the spring and it was the first commercially viable iron works west of the Mississippi River.
We even walked around the spring one more time before we left since it is just so beautiful.
There is also a scenic drive at the park, so we headed for that. A perfect overlook awaits so bring a lunch and take in the views.
The other part of the scenic drive was closed, I guess because of the off season.
Overall, this place is a bit of a drive from St. Louis, but I highly recommend taking a day and visiting Maramec Spring Park. You will not be disappointed! We had a great time and this place is even dog friendly!