About the Dardenne Greenway from the Great Rivers Greenway Team
(Full Dardenne Greenway details can be found on GRG’s site HERE)
The Dardenne Greenway winds along Dardenne Creek in St. Charles County, and links together hundreds of acres of parks as well as neighborhoods, communities, businesses and schools. There is a paved trail in the greenway that makes it easy for you to to leave your car behind and walk or ride to athletic fields, a dog park, St. Charles Community College or to just get outside and enjoy some fresh air!
There is a shelter and fishing dock at the east end of Harmony Lake in Cottleville’s Legacy Park. You can also see “botanical vignettes” of native flowers and grasses along the campus of St. Charles Community College. These include carefully-selected natives species and other plants that flourish in Missouri’s climate.
This is a paved trail that is mostly flat, with a few rolling hills. There is a nice mixture of sun and shade as you enjoy woodlands, wetlands, swamps and temperate prairies.
History of the area surrounding the Dardenne Greenway
(from the City of Cottleville’s official website)
Cottleville, located along the old Boone’s Lick Road, was first settled by Captain Warren G. Cottle, who secured a land grant from the Spanish in 1798. The area did not develop much until the John Pitman family of Kentucky settled about one and one-half miles west of town in 1810. Captain Warren Cottle died in 1811. His son Dr. Warren G. Cottle Jr and his children, who were quite numerous, inherited his extensive farmlands.
The historic Boone’s Lick Road (now Missouri State Route N) began as a trail leading from St. Charles to Boone’s Lick in Howard County. It follows the route blazed by Daniel Boone’s sons to a salt lick they discovered in Howard County. Within St. Charles County, the early Spanish Grant settlers followed it as a route between their farms and the City of St. Charles. From St. Charles it passed through Harvester, Cottleville, Dardenne, Pond, and Pauldingville into Warren County. This road was, at one time, an Indian trail, and also one of the principal highways leading westward through Missouri. Along its path traveled many covered wagons, stage coaches and pony express riders. Often, travelers became stranded at the point where the Boone’s Lick Trail crossed the Dardenne River/Creek in Cottleville, because of the frequent over-flowing of the stream and the muddy condition of the bottom lands through which the road passed. Gradually, small places of business came into existence, such as; country stores, wagon repair shops, little hotels, etc. Two grist mills where wheat and corn were ground into flour and meal, were in operation by 1804.
It became the stagecoach route over which travelers and mail were transported. Many covered wagons traveled the Boone’s Lick Trail to settle in counties west of St. Charles County. Later, the Boone’s Lick Trail was the route followed by those who branched off to follow the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and the California Trail. During the Civil War, troops and supplies were transported over this route. Later, cattle and mules were driven over the route on the way to the railroad and auctions.
Nonprofit Partner: Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation
The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1997 to advance conservation and appreciation of Missouri’s natural resources, including fish, forest and wildlife. We work with donors and other conservation partners to financially support the mission and priorities of the Missouri Department of Conservation at the statewide, national and international level. This means we invest in everything from migratory bird programs to youth hunting and fishing events to endangered species habitat protection. We support the state’s nature centers, as well as hiking and wildlife viewing activities – anything that allows Missourians to enjoy the outdoors in urban and rural areas. MCHF is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of conservation, community and business leaders. We have raised and invested more than $22 million in conservation projects large and small.
To make a donation to Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF), click HERE.