Meramec Farm offers a number of ways to enjoy the views in southeast Missouri, but the most popular way is on horseback.

Tucked away in a quiet bend of the Meramec River, the destination has been a working family farm since 1811 and welcoming guests since 1982.

The property is home to 20 horses, 100 beef cattle, a few cats and dogs and endless opportunities for visitors.

The farm’s owner, Carol Springer, offers guided horseback rides for up to 12 riders. There are trails of varying difficulty that go through wooded hilltops, gravel riverbanks and shady vistas of the river valley.

The horses, most lifelong residents of the farm, make good companions for riders of any level of experience, Springer said.

“Part of what makes rides special is the gaited breeds we’re riding,” he said. “Missouri Fox Trotters, the state horse of Missouri, and the Tennessee Walking Horse. [That means] no hard bumpy trotting.”

The rides are $25 per person per hour, and reservations can be made by phone or email.

Those with their own horses can bring them along with arrangements made in advance.

After a ride, visitors can swim in the river, fish or rent kayaks and canoes from nearby local vendors.

They can even make a day trip to the Onondaga Cave State Park, and historic Route 66 is just a short drive away.

Once the long day of adventure is over, turn in for the night at one of Meramec Farm’s three cabins. They are each 400 feet apart and come with a full kitchen and grill for cookouts with family and friends.

Springer has a pro tip for any guest who wants a cabin with bonus features: Stock up on vegetables.

“Bring carrots, and you’ll have horse friends greeting you!”

The farm welcomes guests during every season. Spring offers blooming wildflowers, and fall brings deep red and yellow shades to the trees.

Or, for relief from Missouri heat, summer is your best bet. Most guests stay for a weekend, but three- and five-day riding packages are available for those who want a longer getaway.

Reservations details can be found on the farm’s website.

  • Community Reporter, Spring 2020 Studying photojournalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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