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Hiking in Defiance


The Weldon Spring Conservation Area
Located in St. Charles County and named after John Weldon, a settler who came to the region in 1796 with a Spanish Land Grant for 425 acres. Later, during World War II, the United States government acquired 17,000 acres of land in the vicinity to create an ammunition plant. Once, the small German town of Hamburg thrived in this area, but became a “casualty” of the war, as they were displaced to make way for the munitions plant. The Missouri Department of Conservation acquired the property in 1978. Within the conservation area are five trails: The Lewis Trail, The Clark Trail, The Lost Valley Hiking & Biking Trail, The Hamburg Trail, and the Katy Trail (Note: bicycles are also permitted on the natural surface trails at Lost Valley, Hamburg, and Katy Trails).

The Lewis Trail
This trail is usually talked about as The Lewis and Clark Trail, but it’s actually two separate trails. The Lewis Trail is an 8.2 mile loop that weaves through very scenic wooded uplands and forested bottomlands. A portion of the trail follows along the bluffs affording hikers a great view of the Missouri River below. This trail can be very muddy in wet weather and crosses intermittent streams. Note: There are no facilities available at the trailhead. For more information on this trail contact: 
St. Louis Regional Office 636-441-4554

The Clark Trail
This trail, contained within the longer Lewis Trail, is a 5.3 mile loop trail, open only to hikers. The trail crosses through woodlands and follows up a few steep grades with a descent to the site of an old quarry. The spectacular overlook of the Missouri River is directly above the Katy Trail. Like the Lewis Trail, there are no facilities available at the trailhead. For more information on this trail contact:
St. Louis Regional Office 636-441-4554

Lost Valley Trail
Hikers and mountain bikers share this 10.5 mile trail which consists of two connected loops. The trail offers varying scenery – woods, fields, old homesteads, natural springs, rock formations, a spring-fed pond, and hilly woods. There are no facilities available at the trailhead. Avoid this trail during late-fall deer-hunting season. For more information on this trail, contact:
St. Louis Regional Office 636-441-4554

Hamburg Trail
This 8 mile gravel-surface is an easy trail which loops or connects trails from “The Mound” and the Lost Valley Trail. It also connects directly to the Katy Trail from the Weldon Spring Conservation area. The trail open to hikers and bikers crosses through what was once the small German town of Hamburg, displaced and disbanded in the 1940’s by the United States Government. A munitions processing facility took its place, where TNT, DNT, and uranium ore was processed. Later the affected portion of this trail was part of a federal environmental cleanup project, with nuclear waste being placed in a large containment cell known as “The Mound.” Note: There are no facilities on the Hamburg Trail. For more information about this trail, contact:
August A. Busch Wildlife Area 636-441-4554

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area
The Busch Conservation area offers hikers a variety of trails with a diversity of landscape. There are seven unconnected trails totaling 5.3 miles with one paved trail (Fallen Oak Trail) and the rest packed earth or abandoned double roads. The best way to explore these trails is to stop at the Visitor’s Center on Hwy D. The center has water, restrooms, interpretive exhibits, and a gift shop. Maps of the various trails can be obtained at the center. In addition, there is a self-guided tour booklet for an 8.7-mile self-guided Auto Tour. For more information about these trails, contact:
August A. Busch Wildlife Area 636-441-4554

Matson Hill Loop Trail
This easy 2.75 mile looping trail was built for mountain bikers, but is great for hikers too. The trail includes wooded hills, ridges, and goes through stream bottoms. The trail can be very muddy in wet weather. There are often maps available at the trailhead as well. For more information on this trail call:
Trail Hotline: 636-949-7475

Broemmelsiek Park
This park contains an easy 4-mile loop trail in forested hillsides with hilltop prairies. Trail maps are usually available at the trailhead. There are three loops (West, Middle, and South) which are open to bicyclists and equestrians as well. The West loop is 1.25 miles, the Middle Loop is 1.75 miles, and the South Loop is 1.7 miles. For more information on this park, contact the St. Charles County Parks Department:
Trail Hotline: 636-949-7475

Klondike Park
The St. Charles County Parks Department operates this beautiful park which sits on the site of the old Klondike Quarry which mined silica sand for manufacturing glass. There are several small trails in the park, all easy, with beautiful scenery such as rocky bluffs and expansive views of the Missouri River. Maps are available at the shower house. Trails within the park are the Hogsback Trail, the Lewis & Clark Trail, the Power Line Trail, the Donjo Trail, a portion of the Katy Trail, the Donkey Kong Loop, and the Strip Mine Loop. Some trails are as small as 1.5 miles, but hiked together can be 5 miles or longer with the Katy Trail segment. For more information on this park, contact the St. Charles County Parks Department:
Trail Hotline: 636-949-7475
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