Cliff Cave County Park is located in South County, St. Louis and is just over the Jefferson Barracks Bridge from Illinois. I parked at the first parking lot on the right as you enter the park. A short walk back along the road (towards the way you came into the park) leads you to the trail head for the Spring Valley Trail. The trail shoots off to the right, but I followed the trail along the creek back to the cave. Cliff Cave, which is sometimes called Indian Cave, is the second longest cave in St. Louis County. A small stream runs out of the cave, creating the creek that I had just walked along.
Rather than backtrack to the trail head, there was a faint trail up the side of the cave that met up with the real trail. This trail also allows bikes and this park is very popular, so keep an eye out for bikes. The trails meander through the woods with signs saying inner loop and outer loop. Honestly, I was kind of lost so I just hiked in what I hoped was one big loop and I eventually ended up back on the trail high above the cave.
I also hiked the River Bluffs trail. Just before the railroad tracks is a clearing along the bluff. I scrambled up the rocky side of the bluff and tried to find my way around. I knew that you could stand on top of the bluff, I just had to find a way up there
At one point, we were following a rock wall and had stopped to look around to see if I could find the trail and I look up and Ellie (my dog) was trying to find her own path and had slipped and she was holding on to the rock ledge with just her front paws. Panic mode! Luckily she had her harness on so I was able to pull her back up.
After that little stunt, we headed to the top of the bluff and took in the views.
The trail makes a loop through the woods.
We also hiked a portion of the paved Mississippi Trail. This trail provides excellent view of the Mississippi River and bluff.
In total, we hiked about 4 miles at Cliff Cave County Park. This is a perfect place to visit when you do not want to drive very far, but want a little nature escape. Be sure to visit the St. Louis County Parks website for more information!