Babler State Park 5

A wilderness wonderland awaits you

As a state-managed public recreation area in Wildwood, the park’s 2,441 acres were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

This park was created in memory of Edmund A. Babler, who was born on Oct. 11, 1874, in Appleton City, Mo. He graduated from Missouri Medical College, now Washington University Medical School. In 1898, he became a surgeon who developed a large private practice in St. Louis and devoted himself to charity cases. He died from pneumonia at the young age of 55. His brother, Jacob Babler, ultimately donated the land and named the park after Edmund.

Have Horses? Will Ride! In the summer and early fall, patches of butterfly weed, horsemint and canopies of pawpaws can be found along the horseback riding trail of Babler State Park. The 6-mile equestrian trail passes historic stables built by Civilian Conservation Corps crews. It also leads past the Bates Picnic Area. Note: Visitors must bring their own horses, as the stable in the park has been inactive since the early 2000s.

Babler Park also offers four hiking trails ranging from 1.25 to 2 miles in distance (13 miles total), a 1.75-mile paved bicycling path and various camping sites. 

Three large picnic shelters and 200-plus picnic sites are scattered throughout Babler Park. The Cochran, Alta and Walnut Grove shelters may be reserved. Occupancies of the shelters range from 70 to 130; they are equipped with fireplaces, grills and picnic tables with nearby water and restroom facilities, however, there’s no electricity in the shelters.

The park also includes historic sites, such as a small cemetery and tunnel built in the 1930s by Civilian Conservation Corps workers. It’s also the home of the Jacob L. Babler Outdoor Education Center, a barrier-free resident camp with a swimming pool, heated cabins, a fishing pond, an archery field, and recreation and dining halls.

800 Guy Park Drive, Wildwood, Missouri, 314.458.3813, MOStateParks.com