Meramec State Park has some truly beautiful trails. The Wilderness Trail (Long Loop) is well worth the effort. Although this trail is beautiful in the Spring and Fall the terrain is hidden behind thick green foliage. This guide based on my recent winter hike on the trail.
Be sure you are ready for elevation changes as this trail offers up plenty. According to my GPS there was 2563 feet of ascent and 2593 feet of descent.
The point of interest that made the entire hike worth while to me was "Green Cave".
If you plan to camp or hike on this trail make sure you check the weather! There are many areas along the trail where flash floods could take you by surprise.
I have hiked both the short and long loops of this trail and highly recommend the long loop.
During the summer I saw deer, turkey and squirrels on this trail, but during the winter wildlife was sparse.
I prefer to travel heavy on any trail with enough gear to stay for an unexpected night due to any unforeseen conditions. There are campsites on this trail just be sure to check the weather before setting up camp. If you hike this trail in the summer prepare for chiggers and ticks. Two liters of water was enough for me to finish this trail in under 5 hours taking my time. You can expect intermittent cell phone reception on some of the higher points of the trail. The staff at the visitor center is very helpful and maps are available.
The cave is actually called Hamilton Cave as is the spring that flows from it. If you go on the North portion of the trail and past the spring the 1st or 2nd weekend of April you will see nature at it's best. Literally thousands of bluebells. Takes your breath away.I started walking this trail back in 2009. Visited on Mar 21, 2013