Cons of this trail are definitely the crowds, even at early hours-- as it gets later, you get lots of families and children too. Also, there were some very cranky bike-riders on the trail who seemed very fed up with all the walkers. It's kind of a tight trail for everyone to share, admittedly. However the breeze coming up off the lake are wonderful (as well as the peaceful sights of the lake itself and the rowers out on the water), and the scenery is just beautiful!!! Marshland meets forest and wildflowers. It's a beautiful, peaceful walk despite the people, and the transitions between different types of landscapes is lovely-- from lakefront to marshes to green green trees.
Another drawback of the lake walk is the noise from traffic through parts of it. However at one point, the paved trail goes underneath the Page Extension, which essentially is a highway now. It's kind of an incredible site. It seems like the sudden shock of such a piece of non-natural scenery would ruin the landscape, but it is almost like a secret world. The highway rises so far above almost all the trees in the area; I've never been underneath a highway bridge like that before, and it's bigger than I imagined! Above are the heard but unseen cars, but underneath is a utopia of the little streams leading to the lakes, the forested areas carpeted with green. It brings to mind a picture of a post-apocalyptic world, if only the cars couldn't be heard. As if the highway has overgrown, but still exists at the same time.
We did a little over 3.5 miles, doing the main walk, Lakeview Loop with a little side trip up the Medows Loop, but cut back through the parking lot to the main trail before we got too far, not knowing exactly how far it was or where it went. The park seems to have 3 main trail (the two mentioned above, along with the Mallard Lake Loop, and then also the Creve Coeur Connector trail which I believe goes to the Katy Trail. You could connect some of the trails to make a much longer walk, but it would take some planning. There is also a new trail, it seems, called the Bootlegger's Run, which is more of a hiking path from what I can see, but there isn't much info on it on the website that I have found. I have yet to check this out, but it would be a close option next time I'm looking for a trail in the area.
Loved this walk. We finished in just under an hour, and then headed to the Bread Company for water, fruit cups, and relaxed while reading the paper.
map of Creve Coeur Lake and various paths