Move in St. Lou: Hiking

Peaceful, quiet, and a beautiful atmosphere are all things you will experience when embarking on Bison Loop Trail at Lone Elk Park. The Lone Elk Park is a wildlife management area where you can see bison, deer, elk, and turkey. You can also hike in the park. They have two different trails, the Chubb Trail and the White Bison Loop Trail. They are most well known for their White Bison Loop Trail.

Saint Louis County Government said, “Lone Elk Park used to be part of the Tyson Valley Powder Plant used for testing and storage of ammunition during WWII. After the war, the area served as a County Park where heards of elk and bison were established.” They go on the mention that “the Federal Government took back over during the Korean War and one elk survived.” Eventually, St. Louis County took back over the land and the wildlife management area was created.

Embarking on the White Bison Loop, you’ll find yourself in an adventure surrounded by a variety of wildlife as you travel around the scenic Lone Elk Reservoir Lake. While the bison may not accompany you on the hike, their presence can be witnessed as you enter the park. This peaceful journey spans 3.1 miles and takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes to complete.

Rebekah Jun, a sophomore at Maryville University, visited the trail with me. She said, “It was a nice escape from reality. I was able to get off campus, and it didn’t cost me anything to complete.”

As Rebekah pointed out, the park offers a convenient and accessible way to incorporate daily exercise into your routine. With its free entry and extended hours from 8 am to sundown, you can visit at your convenience, making it a perfect fit for any schedule. Rebekah also highlighted the park’s accessibility, mentioning how “convenient it is to be able to visit anytime when the sun is up.”

Photo courtesy of Katelyn Sutterer

While on the trail, I noticed that it was strenuous to complete. I wasn’t entirely exhausted, but I was out of breath at times. It challenged me in a way I hadn’t been in a while. I was able to complete my daily exercise in a new location using muscles that were different from standard weightlifting.

For a unique experience, I highly recommend the drive-through Bison Reserve. From the comfort of your car, you can observe these creatures in their natural habitat, engaging in their daily activities. Even if hiking isn’t your thing, this experience should not be missed. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in wildlife without stepping our of your vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Katelyn Sutterer

The White Bison Loop at Lone Elk Park is a great change from normal hiking trails. You are able to get your daily dose of vitamin D without spending a dollar. I encourage everyone to visit the park, which is located in Valley Park, about fifteen minutes from Maryville University.

Follow me this semester as I find more unique exercise locations throughout St. Louis!

More information on Lone Elk Park is available at the link below.


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