Matson Hill

Matson Hill

This trail, in the heart of Daniel Boone country, is 7.4 miles of 100% singletrack designed for hike and bike use only. Weaving up and down several times in a large hollow, it is a constant challenge to novice and advanced riders alike. This is some unique terrain, heavily wooded, very dark and shady, with several rock-bottom creek crossings. Due to the steepness of the terrain, the area wasn't logged so it presents an uncommon setting with low volume mid-level growth, and tall old-growth trees forming a high, dark canopy. It almost has the feel of a natural amphitheater.  The trail surface is mostly dirt, with several veins of rock, and rocky creek crossings/waterfalls. Stop and look around when you reach the bottom of the valley. The trail should be ridden both clockwise and counter-clockwise; each offers its own pleasures.


From the Highway 40/94 interchange: Take Highway 94 South approximately 13 miles. Go past Defiance to Matson, turn right and follow Matson Hill Rd. to the top of the hill. Turn right onto Matson Road (now paved) and go ½ mile. The trailhead is on the left side of Matson Road. It is well signed from Hwy 94 to the trailhead. You can also park down at the Katy Trail parking lot in Defiance, and ride up a very steep Matson Hill Rd. to add 2 miles each way to your ride. Parking is also available near the Hays House by entering the park through the Stub Road entrance.

Park History

Located in Southwestern St. Charles County Matson Hill Park is a 68.5-acre park. Acquired by the County in 1975, this park's topography is rugged wooded hills with intermittent draws or valleys. Located within the Daniel Boone Historic District, the park is reminiscent of the area during Boone's life. In fact, it is possible that Daniel Boone walked within the park's boundaries during some of his many journeys. This park provides a unique recreational opportunity for nature lovers or those wanting to escape into a heavily forested landscape.

Matson Hill Park is the effort that got GORC started. This is what brought the greater St. Louis area mountain bikers (St. Louis, St. Charles and Western Illinois) together as a group to create a new singletrack trail in St. Charles County.

The St. Charles County Parks Dept has put many hours of effort into this trail and making it happen for mountain bikers. They deserve a great deal of thanks for this. They have been behind this effort 100%. Many thanks go out to our friends at Momentum Cycles for the materials to build the "bridges." The trail was dedicated June 2nd, 2001.


Trail Information

Matson Hill (Off Site)
Forum Discussion
Rainout Online Status
Trail Hotline: 636-707-0011

Trail Steward(s)

Ed Gengenbacher
Dean Ayres




7.4 miles (including out-and-back on Hays Trail)


Multiple Loops


Trail Conditions

Latest Conditions

From Bartman on Sun, 02/04/2024 - 4:45pm - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
Just beautiful. One tree down on Hays loop. Pic and loc on FB. DH hub still a bit moist but very rideable.
From Bartman on Sat, 09/23/2023 - 2:15pm - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
Trail is just gorgeous. All trees removed. Dust dry and G2G
From rmhchs on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 9:28am - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
Trail is in good shape. No puddles. Lots of little sticks and leaves down. Five big trees down. Two big trees down after a mile if you go left. If you go right, there is a big tree down before and a big tree down after the technical section.
From hpeter on Thu, 06/15/2023 - 12:51pm - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
perfect. beautiful park and amazing trail. get out and rip it!
From supradude on Thu, 05/04/2023 - 10:33pm - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
Getting a bit loose due to the lack of rain, but the trail is solid and good to go.
From Bartman on Sun, 04/23/2023 - 2:46pm - Matson Hill (St. Charles Area)
Excellent shape. Some great wet stream crossings and fun muddy spots. 3 trees down: a cedar on west side of Oxen Mill and 1 top of Hays loop, the other at the bottom of loop.