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Along Route 66–The Landscape, the Meramec River

After Route 66 works its way across the Illinois farmfields, it crosses the Mississippi, crosses every major north/south, east/west street in St. Louis and its suburbs, and then plunges into into the real and varied landscape of the Ozark Mountains.

If you are willing to get off the road, there are wonderful places to visit. And of course, there is Meramec Caverns, Lester Dill’s famous cave, and Onondaga Cave State Park, opened by his protege , Lyman Riley and then acquired by the State of Missouri in 1982.

Just west of St. Louis Route 66 leaves the St. Louis suburbs, crosses the Meramec River, and enters the Ozark border region, characterized by loess hills, hills of windblown silt blown across the landscape from rivers of frozen glacial outwash thousands of years ago.

Meramec River cuts through the Loess Hills at Castlewood State Park west of St. Louis

Here not far off the road is Castlewood State Park, where the Meramec river runs through the loess hills.

Meramec River at Meramec State Park

A little to the west at Sullivan, the highway enters the Ozark Plateau and passes close to Meramec State Park, where the river cuts through limestone bluffs.

The Huzzah Creek Wildlife Management Area southeast of Cuba

When you enter Missouri stop and get a state map. It will help you locate these places.