4 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents5 acres · Eureka, Jefferson
Located at the confluence of the Meramec River and Labarque Creek, my place (Matt's Place) is a ridge above a bottomland bowl of sorts. The ridge is an ancient road bed recorded on an old map as the "kings highway" under Spanish rule. Flakes of flint hint to the first people to walk this ridge perhaps 10,000 years ago.
The old iron truss bridge here is likely built in 1910 and it has a survey marker from 1932. The overlook at the confluence is a magical vortex of energy. A few chairs are waiting there for folks to ponder what that means.
Bald eagles nest upstream and their daily commute can be seen from here as they fly down toward the Mississippi in the morning, and in the evening,
back upstream to their nest about a mile and a half further, at a bend in the river
up high in a grove of sycamore trees. Great blue herons, kingfishers, hawks, vultures, beaver, turtles, fish,
and deer are frequently seen from this vista.
The bottomland is also special. It's darker down there under so many tall silver maples. And in summer, bring bug spray.
The creek has a nice little swimming hole, and a beach that is sometimes sand, sometimes, gravel, and sometimes a mix of both with some silt or even mud after a storm. It's peaceful down there to explore in the creek, wade while looking outward to an opening into the Meramec River. It's also fun to stand just at the mouth of the creek in the Meramec River. It's an awesome view upstream or downstream of tree lined banks, rock bluffs, and every now and then, passing boats, canoes, paddle boards, or kayaks. The old iron truss bridge hovers above the meeting of two waters. The water is cool and clean. Some fifty species of fish have been recorded in this creek, the most in all of Jefferson County and St Louis County. The bottomland has two levels, the lower bottoms down by the creek and the upper bottoms about a hundred feet from the creek. The upper bottoms has a clearing like a meadow with mowed grass, picnic table, electric extension cord and fan (plugged in up at the house). My favorite things to do here include gazing up at a cottonwood tree that must be sixty feet tall. It's leaves in a breeze are like a thousand hands waving hello. The bottomland meadow offers just enough sky to see bats dance in the dusk air between the trees, then fireflies as it gets darker yet. Up top is where I live.
I can shuttle gear with my pick up to the bottomland meadow or close to the creek. If a visitor forgets some camping gear, I'm sure to have an extra to lend.
What attracted me to this place is the sense of a vortex of energy that is always at a meeting of waters such as the Meramec River and Labarque Creek. We hope you like this place like we do.
Learn more about this land:
Just five miles off HWY 44 and HWY 109, at Eureka, MO, (30 minutes west of downtown St Louis, 18 minutes from Six Flags) this place sits on a ridge with great views above the Meramec River. A century-old iron trapezoidal truss bridge is abandoned and is a beautiful feature aging in place above the confluence of Labarque Creek.
The bottomland meadow and sand and gravel beach with swimming holes, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking is just a short walk (300 feet or so) or drive if conditions are not muddy (4wd suggested). We have a half-mile loop trail around the small property and just across the road is the Young Conservation Area and down the road 2 miles is Glassberg Conservation Area.
This is a great base camp or picnic stop for a group floating downstream from Pacific Palisades Meramec River Access Ramp. Most people take out a mile and a half downstream at Allenton River Access Ramp (near Six Flags). We also have bunnies, chickens, honey bees, and blackberries. Thousands of acres of adjacent parks, plus river access ramps for boats a few miles upstream or downstream.
We can shuttle your kayaks or even lend you one of ours by request as an extra. You can camp up top on the ridge or driveway (close to bathroom or shower in the house) or you can camp down by the creek or bottomland meadow. The creek/swimming hole is about 500 feet walk from the driveway up top. I can shuttle your gear (coolers, tent, chairs) down there in my 4wd pickup truck upon request.
One may hear the local road traffic from two-lane HWY FF which is just a few hundred feet from the campsite. It's not so bad. Hipcampers report they can tune it out and late at night it gets very quiet. We've seen bald eagles, osprey, beavers, otters, hawks, great blue herons, bats (at dusk), and lots of other wildlife. At night, you may hear frogs, owls and maybe even coyotes safely from far off on the other side of the river. We hope this place feels like your far away place, nearby.
Outdoor activities tend to have some inherent risks. The bridge abutment has a potential fall hazard, the river and creek, a potential drowning hazard, and the outdoors in in general may pose risks of mosquitos, ticks, and poison ivy. In high winds a branch or tree could fall, lightning could strike, or floodwaters may rise. Campfires have burn or smoke inhalation risks. With proper caution , care, and a bit of bug spray, these risks can be managed and mitigated.
In case of bad weather, too hot, too cold, too many mosquitos, or upon request, you can find refuge up in the clubhouse, close but separate from my house. It's a small concrete block building with a single bed, two picture windows looking down on the river, chairs, space heater, air conditioner, fridge, microwave, butane stove, and toaster oven.
If the place is still not for you, you can cancel with full refund even after you've arrived. No worries.