Located at the junction of Dardenne Creek and the Mississippi River is one of St. Charles County’s newest parks – Riverside Landing. The park currently is closed for the construction of a variety of new and exciting amenities, including the first “blueway” for the county that will provide new opportunities for canoeing and kayaking on our beautiful creeks and rivers.
Called the Dardenne Creek Blueway, this water trail will connect nearly six miles of water from the City of St. Peters’ Lakeside 370 Park to Riverside Landing. St. Charles County Parks staff began planning for this waterway when the park was purchased in 2018; however, pollution – debris from trees and man-made trash – impeded the connection and flow between the creek and the river. Staff cleaned up the connection, and next will create a habitat to protect wildlife, plant vegetation along the banks of the creek to filter water, develop a long-term maintenance plan, and apply for grant funding to further maintain the blueway. The canoe/kayak landing and launch areas already are under construction at both Riverside Landing and Lakeside 370.
The Dardenne Creek Blueway is just the beginning: The Parks Department is developing plans for a similar connection between Indian Camp Creek and Flatwoods parks through the Big Creek and Cuivre River. Staff are in the process of designing a canoe/kayak landing for Indian Camp Creek along the Big Creek and will be accepting bids to build a landing at Flatwoods Park on the Cuivre River. The City of Wentzville Parks and Recreation is developing a landing along Big Creek at Mette Road on property owned by the city.
I talked with Ryan Graham, Director of St. Charles County Parks, and he says the waterways in and near our parks are underused, and developing these blueway connections is another way the department can carry out its mission to preserve and maintain our beautiful natural resources. I’m excited to see how the public uses and embraces these wonderful new additions to our parks system and county.
In case you’re curious about those other developments in motion at Riverside Landing, construction underway in the 7.73-acre park includes an iPaddle station to rent kayaks on-site; a new boat launch for the Mississippi River with ADA accessibility; several small and large campsites that can accommodate recreational vehicles (RVs); improved shoreline fishing access; day-use picnic areas; as well as water and electric for the park. Those who have used the park to fish and boat along the Mississippi River are encouraged to use the free public boat ramps at Hideaway Harbor Park at 1550 Hideaway Harbor Drive in Portage des Sioux until construction is complete in late 2021.
Riverside Landing is at 101 Riverport Lane in St. Charles. For construction updates, follow the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook.