Rockwoods Reservation


Attention: All bridge construction on Glencoe Road and Woods Avenue is now complete! The main entrance to Rockwoods is now open from 109, Woods and Glencoe Road. The north gate, that was temporarily open during construction, is now locked as normal.

Driving Directions

In Wildwood from Highway 100, take Highway 109 south for 2 miles, then Woods Avenue west 50 yards, and Glencoe Road north to Rockwoods.


This is a predominantly forest area. Facilities/features: picnic areas and a pavilion, hiking trails, viewing blind, and a permanent stream (Hamilton Creek). The area also has a Conservation Education Center.

About This Area

Rockwoods Reservation is in western St. Louis County. It was established in 1938 by a group of St. Louis businessmen headed by A.P. Greensfelder. Other gifts and purchases have increased the area to its present size of 1,880 acres.

Today, Rockwoods Reservation is operated as an area for conservation education. We encourage day-use by the general public, school groups, and organizations.

Rockwoods Reservation harbors a rich diversity of plant and animal life as well as springs, caves, and rock formations. Cool, moist, north facing ravines and lush creek bottoms contrast with the nearby arid, rocky ridge tops, and south slopes. The terrain is reminiscent of the Ozark hills and, indeed, many plants and animals found in hill country are also found here. Although located near metropolitan St. Louis, raccoons, opossums, turkeys, deer, fox, songbirds, chipmunks, and snakes are common here.

Projects to control invasive exotic plants and other management practices are used to maintain and increase the wildlife population on the area. 

Rockwoods Reservation has a fascinating cultural history dating back to the late 1700s, when trappers passed through the valley on their way to sell furs in the new settlement of St. Louis. In 1800, Ninian Hamilton received a Spanish land grant and started a small farm here with his family. Hamilton Creek, which flows through Rockwoods, is named after him. Observant visitors will be able to find remnants of extensive limestone, clay and gravel quarrying.

Developers once attempted to subdivide the land for home sites, but the project failed because of the inadequate road system.

The Conservation Education Center contains exhibits and information about the forest, fish, and wildlife resources of Missouri. Programs are available by advance registration for school field trips and other organized groups.

General Information

St. Louis

Saint Louis


Owned by MDC

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Bird viewing blind located next to Education Center in pines. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List. Designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Missouri.  
Camping - Individual Campsites  Organized youth groups only. Special use permit required. No amenities provided. 
Demonstrations  Grow Native garden and bird feeding stations.  
Exhibits/Displays  The Education Center contains exhibits and information about Rockwood's history and fish, forest and wildlife resources of Missouri.  
Hiking  There are seven designated hiking trails covering about 13 miles.  
Hunting-Deer  Managed deer hunt only. Hunters must apply for a permit through the managed hunt drawing system. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Other  Public programs offered on the area and listed in the Conservation Connections Newsletter available at the Education Center or by mail. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites   Organized recognized youth groups only by special use permit requested 30 days in advance. No amenities provided. 
Parking Lotaccessible 11   
Pavilion   First come first serve, no reservations 
Picnic Tableaccessible 25  2 picnic sites w/ BBQ pits, restrooms, 300 yd wildlife habitat trail, bird feeding stations, and Education Center.  
Staffed Office    
Viewing Blind   Adjacent to the Visitor Center in the pine plantation. 
Visitor Centeraccessible   

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Fishless Pond  1.00 acres  
Other Memorial Forests 0.00 count Various pine memorial forest planted in 1940-1950's ranging from .5-3 acres.  
Other Lime Kiln 0.00 count Original lime kiln built in late 1800's. 
Spring  1000.00 # gallons per day  
Stream - Intermittent  6.00 miles  
Stream - Permanent Hamilton Creek 2.00 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Grassland (non-prairie) 12.00  
Wetland 2.00  
Forest and Woodland 1861.80  
Other 5.00 Buildings and grounds. 
Total Area Acres:1880.83 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
Wildlife Habitat Discovery Trail-Easy-accessibleDisabled-Accessible Trail 0.10 
Rock Quarry Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Interpretive) 2.20 
Trail Among The Trees (Moderate) Hiking (Interpretive) 1.50 
Turkey Ridge Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 2.00 
Lime Kiln Loop Trail (Difficult) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 3.20 
Green Rock Trail (Moderate) Hiking (Non-Interpretive) 3.60 
Hamilton-Carr Trail (Easy) Multi-Use (Hike/Bike) 0.25 

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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