Emmenegger Still Beckons
I have been walking at Emmenegger Park for years. It’s a Kirkwood (MO) City Park on the banks of the Meramec River as the river flows under I-44 a few yards west of I-270. The park is tucked between the two highways, the river, and a rather isolated outer road that winds for a couple miles from Geyer Road, past Powder Valley State Park. If you don’t know that park is there, you are unlikely to stumble upon it. Most people never make it past Powder Valley.
Emmenegger was once ‘the’ Kirkwood city Park. It had a nice pool and bath house, a couple baseball diamonds, a pavillion, and some nice trails. After the flood of 1993 which devastated much of the St. Louis area on both sides of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the park fell into disuse. The pool was filled in after that. Then, after the floods of last year, the pavillion is gone now as are the baseball diamonds. The trails, luckily, remain.
The entire park is not large with less than two miles of trails. But, they are great trails! There is a creek running through the park, two steep trails – one overlooking the river and one overlooking the outer road. The river overlook has several rock outcroppings offering a place to stop and take in the sights of the river as well as the sounds of the soccer park across the river.
Emmenegger has one other advantage. No bikes! While I love to share the trail with bikes, it’s a relief to have the trails to ourselves from time to time. No hassles with the dog being scared by a bike. No having to step aside into the bushes to allow a bike to pass. No being startled rounding a bend. No having to remind bikers to announce as they come upon me from the rear (which is posted on all trails shared by bikers and walkers).
Emmenegger is a wonder. It’s mostly used by dogwalkers. It has a devoted group of volunteers who cut back the invasive honeysuckle. It remains undiscovered by the masses. So, if you’re interested in walking on a path that’s not ‘beaten’, skip on over to this one. It’s worth it. And it calls me back again and again.