Fort Belle Fontaine

13002 Bellefontaine Road
Saint Louis, MO 63138

(click here for directions to the park)
The park is located at the far north end of Bellefontaine Road, where it shares an entrance drive with the Missouri Hills Campus of the Missouri Division of Youth Services. Visitors may be asked to stop at the guard house at the entrance to the property, where they will be directed to parking areas. 

Hours
Open from 8 a.m. - 30 minutes past sunset everyday

History
Fort Belle Fontaine Park has been a St. Louis County Park since 1986. Few are aware that this was the first United States military installation west of the Mississippi River, established in 1805. Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition (1804-1806) spent the first night of their expedition on an island opposite Cold Water Creek and their last night two years later at the fort, which had been established in their absence. Other major expeditions left from this site between 1805 and 1819 to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Until it was replaced by Jefferson Barracks in 1826, Fort Belle Fontaine was an important gathering place in the wilderness for officers and enlisted men, Native American, French, Spanish and American settlers, trappers and traders, and the local businessmen and farmers who supplied the fort with necessities.

Features
The Park comprises 305.6 acres on the Missouri River in north St. Louis County, about three miles west of the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. It contains four main areas: the Missouri River; Belle Fontaine Spring; Coldwater Creek; and a 50-acre upland prairie and wetlands. A visit to this site reveals the beauty of the land and wildlife Lewis and Clark observed in 1804 and 1806. The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail in Fort Belle Fontaine is a 3-mile multi-purpose trail which includes a trailhead and interpretive signage which guides visitors to all four main areas of the park. The trail also passes massive stonework features that the Works Progress Administration added in the 1930s when the City of St. Louis owned the property.

Programs & Activities
A variety of programs are scheduled at Fort Belle throughout the year including ghost stories, hayrides, geocaching events and the very popular Eagle Watch and Trail Walk.

Tours
Guided tours are $4/person and are available for groups up to 25 by reservation only. Please call (314) 615-8800 for more information or email us at PMailbox@stlouisco.com.

View Park Events

Park Postings:

(as of 11/02/17 10:55 a.m.)


  * The restrooms at Lemay Park are closed for repair. Port-a-potties are in place. Shelter reservations are still available.

*Riverside trail at Simpson is open, however there is a 50 ft. section at the eastern most end that had to be re-routed and the footing is sand and dirt. Also, users should be cautious of sand smears across trail after rain events.

* Unger Park is open to the shelter parking lot, but the trail is closed beyond the riverside parking lot

* Sherman Beach and Al Foster trails are passable but have areas with sand and debris on them

* The Bottomland Trail along Grant's Trail was severely damaged during periods of heavy rain. For safety reasons, this short trail has been closed. Plans are being developed to relocate the trail away from Gravois Creek.

* The east side of Cliff Cave Road including the field, River Bluff trail and Spring Valley trail are closed at Cliff Cave Park for Construction.