Named in honor of Al Foster, who was a journalist, nature photographer, and co-founder of Operation Clean Stream, the Al Foster Memorial Trail is a local favorite for hikers, cyclists, runners and dogwalkers. The crushed stone trail is currently 5 miles in length but offers opportunities to lengthen your time outdoors by connecting with the Rock Hollow Trail, Bluff View Trail, and Hamilton Carr Trail. The Al Foster is also part of the Meramec Greenway network. The parkland along the Al Foster Trail is part of a bottomland forest and is designated an important area by the Audubon Society as it serves as critical habitat for breeding and migratory birds. If you log your birding adventures on eBird (a digital community science database supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), you’ll see that the Al Foster is a hotspot of activity. eBird birders have tracked, among others, Broad-winged hawks, Orange-crowned Warblers, Great Blue Herons and Cedar Waxwings on the Al Foster. In the spring, flora like delicate bluebells grace the woods along the trail.
Open Space Council volunteers have been working on the Al Foster Trail for the past two years to clear invasive bush honeysuckle from the area between the trail and riverbank. These efforts have led to the removal of 10+acres of honeysuckle, which not only improves native habitat but also gives trail visitors a better view of the Meramec River. Learn more about their efforts here and go visit the trail to experience the difference yourself!
You can find the Al Foster Trail at the intersection of Grand Ave. and Washington Ave in Wildwood, MO.
*Check the City of Wildwood’s website for the latest updates on access at the site.