By Dennis Bresnahan
It was a beautiful fall day with blue skies, white clouds, and a temperature in the low 60’s.
I had just finished having lunch with a few friends at a restaurant in St. Charles, Mo., and didn’t feel like going home right away.
I thought that this looks like a great day for a short hike in a park somewhere close by.
And Bangert Island then came to mind.
Bangert Island is a park located between the KATY Trail and the Missouri River just south of downtown St. Charles, where I was at.
It is 160 acres of wooded land that probably looks the same today as it did when Lewis and Clark passed by it in 1803.
The last time that I was here, it was the Louis H. Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area owned and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Now it is leased from the City of St. Charles and managed by the St. Charles County Parks Department.
The island was once owned by Louis Bangert who bought it around 1950 and kept it as a wildlife area. His children donated the island to the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1976.
The Missouri Department of Conservation sold the island in 2015 to the City of St. Charles for $350,000. The city then leased it to the county parks department through a 30-year renewable lease.
This Missouri River island consists of cottonwood, sycamore, box elder, silver maple, and black willow trees. Wildlife includes deer, turkey, raccoons, opossums, fox squirrels, and song birds.
Regulations state that there is no hunting, camping, taking of wildlife, or releasing of captured wildlife on this area. Fishing and bird watching is allowed.
There is no water available here nor are there restroom facilities. Water, food, and restrooms are available in downtown St. Charles approximately one mile north on the KATY Trail.
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There is a parking lot for Bangert Island and the KATY Trail on Old South River Road. When accessing the island you have to cross over a small footbridge over the slough.
This slough or side channel has been silted in over the years and is not very deep or wide. On this day, there was no water in it making the park not really an island but a part of the mainland.