Cliff Cave County Park is a 525-acre public park located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is named after Cliff Cave, a natural cave located in the park that is a historical and archaeologic site. The park contains woodlands, wetlands, and rocky hillsides and has very nice views of the Mississippi River. Cliff Cave has three trails: the Mississippi Greenway Trail, the Spring Valley Trail, and the River Bluff Trail.
Cliff Cave, also known as Indian Cave, is a natural limestone cave that is considered the second longest cave in St. Louis County, with 4723 ft (1514 m) of cave passage surveyed. The cave has had a very interesting history, including being used by the French fur trappers and traders in the 1770s as a riverside tavern for travelers of the Mississippi River; during the Civil War as a rendezvous point for Confederate soldiers; in the 1860s and 1870s, as the home of the Cliff Cave Wine Company which had 240 acres of vineyard along the Mississippi River, and used the cave as a natural wine celler with a storage capacity of 100,000 gallons of wine; and leased by Anheuser-Busch in 1910 to store beer.
The Mississippi Greenway Trail is a 7.1 mile easy hike along the flats next to the Mississippi River. The Mississippi Greenway Trail is a long loop that travels basically South from the park entrance and parking area, and surrounds a large field that is part of the flood plains from the river. We visited in the Spring, and found the Greenway Trail was mostly closed, as the river had flooded the trail sometime previously and deposited huge amounts of sand across and blocking the trail. You could see where efforts had made to clear the trail, but it was still closed in several areas pending removal of the huge piles of sand.
The River Bluff Trail is a 1 mile moderately strenuous hike that climbs a well established paved trail from the river bottoms up to a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The River Bluff Trail is very well constructed, and has a large stone viewing platform at the top, and a long interesting steel bridge crossing the break between two of the bluffs on the way up.