About the Sunset Greenway from the Great Rivers Greenway Team
(Full Sunset Greenway details can be found on GRG’s site HERE)
The Sunset Greenway is in north St. Louis County between the City of Florissant and the Missouri River. It meanders through the St. Ferdinand Shrine, St. Ferdinand Park and Historic Old Town Florissant all the way down the bluff to the Missouri River in Sunset Park.
In addition to beautiful views of the river, you can walk or ride your bike to enjoy shopping, dining and other businesses housed in charming historic buildings. There are rows of restored century homes along peaceful, tree-lined streets.
The greenway connects you to St. Ferdinand Park, a 64-acre park with picnic pavilions, lighted ball fields, four playground areas, sand volleyball courts and much more. It also passes by the historic St. Ferdinand Shrine, the oldest Catholic Church building between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains.
The Sunset Greenway has a 3.9-mile asphalt trail that extends from Sunset Park to Old Town Florissant. If you are lucky enough to watch the sun go down over the Missouri River in Sunset Park, you’ll know how the park got its name! Sunset Park is also home to the Sunset Nature Lodge. This trail is mostly flat with both sun and shade. It has some steeper inclines in the section that takes you down to the river in Sunset Park.
History of the area surrounding the Sunset Greenway
(from the Old Town Florissant website)
The exact date of the first settlers is unknown, but Florissant is one of the oldest settlements in the state of Missouri. Some historians believe it was settled about the same time as St. Louis.
The first civil government was formed in 1786 by the Spanish with archives in Havana revealing the population at 40, and seven plantations in Florissant at the time of the 1787 census.
The village, called “Fleurissant,” or “Blooming” in English, by its French settlers and “St. Ferdinand” by its Spanish rulers, was a typical French village with its commons and common fields, originally a separate town, and now an inner suburb of St. Louis. As late as 1889, the town was predominantly French-speaking, while the southern portion was populated by German-speakers.
Old Town Florissant is the historic district of Florissant and has maintained a lovely vintage charm. Old Town Florissant is filled with century homes, businesses, restaurants, and shops housed in historic buildings along tree lined streets. We invite you to spend the day with us, shopping, dining and enjoying shady parks and beautiful historic houses and churches.
Nonprofit Partner: Marygrove (Florissant, MO)
For 170 years, Marygrove has been a place where children, youth and families in need have found hope and healing. Marygrove is a safe haven that provides treatment and support to young people struggling with mental and behavioral health issues resulting from physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment and other trauma. Our 43-acre campus located in Florissant is one of the largest therapeutic residential treatment programs in Missouri. With a dedicated and compassionate team of professional caregivers, Marygrove continuum of residential and community-based programs offers a new beginning to our community’s most vulnerable youth, ranging from birth- 21 years of age. Programs include therapeutic residential treatment and foster care, transitional and independent living, crisis services, education and recreational therapy, family counseling, parenting education and mentoring. Marygrove helps over 1,000 children each year grow into their best possible selves to become productive citizens in our community. Our children gain new perspectives, develop and understand healthy relationships, and are given the roots they need to heal and grow.
A resident success story:
Curtis remembers when things got really bad at home. He was five years old and feeling excited about starting school. That first day of school never came, but the police did. In the middle of the night, they took his dad and mom away in handcuffs. Things weren’t better in the various foster homes he landed at after that. Curtis was alone and afraid. When he was brought to Marygrove he felt safe and wanted for the first time in his life. Today, Curtis lives in Marygrove’s Willowood Cottage and is an outgoing 3rd grader with lots of friends. He loves to play video games, do science projects, and is getting the support he needs to overcome years of neglect. When he grows up, he wants to be a scientist. Every day, Marygrove helps over 200 children like Curtis overcome the emotional impact of abuse or neglect and move toward a brighter future.
To make a donation to Marygrove, click HERE.