Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Walking Fern Trail is a half mile loop trail climbing gentle graded single track path as it circles a sizable limestone landscape.

Sitting at the end of the main road through Meramec State Park immediately before the campground entrance booth, a left turn leads to a gravel parking area for Fisher Cave and the trailhead for the Walking Fern Trail. This trail is a loop trail through the forest that passes two caves, cricles a limestone base, and gradually climbs and descends while passing stands of fern and dense shade trees.

Indian Cave can be reached via a wooden staircase from the trail. The limestone cave only goes about 65 feet back, however is an easily accessible example of the areas cave landscapes. 

While heading in a clockwise direction will get the climbing out of the way quickly and allow a lengthy gradual descent for the majority of the hike, those who might be looking for a quick out and back to Indian Cave should choose to head in a counterclockwise direction.

There are no amenities of any kind located at the trailhead, however bathrooms and water are available within the nearby campground just a few minute walk from the trail parking area.

Walking Fern Trail lies within Meramec State Park, and is subject to all park hours and entry fees.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Easy hike. Accesses cave features.

Trailhead Elevation

600.00 ft (182.88 m)

Highest point

690.00 ft (210.31 m)


Bird watching
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Historically significant
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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