A First At Forest Park
Are you familiar with Forest Park? It’s the largest city park in the US. Yes, it’s larger than NYC’s Central Park. The park is large enough to hold a lot of attractions – a world renown zoo (free admission), the world class Muny (lots of free seats for every performance), our outstanding Art Museum (free all the time and special exhibits free on Fridays), a golf course (not free), the Arthur Ashe Tennis Courts (not sure if free or not), handball courts, the Jewel Box (huge green house facility, probably not free), the History Museum, Turtle Park (cool, free little playground), ball fields, horse stables and trails, ponds stocked with fish, and lots of biking and hiking trails.
I bet I missed some great attraction(s) at FP. It’s an amazing place, pretty every season of the year. The park is bounded on one side by I64/40. The other three sides are scenic, however. The western boundary is Skinker Blvd, along which are lovely buildings and the illustrious Washington University in St Louis (Danforth Campus). The eastern boundary is Grand Blvd, along which are Barnes Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital, and several other hospitals and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy alongside lovely old residential buildings and the venerable Chase Park Plaza hotel and complex. On the northern border of the park is a mile long row of mansions, each one more beautiful than the last, along Lindell Blvd.
Back to those trails. There are both biking and hiking trails around and throughout the park. The biking trails are blacktop, lined surfaces. The hiking trails are a mix. Some are paved, some are mulch and dirt, some are gravel. Many of the hiking trails are shaded in the summer but sunlit in the winter.
I grew up within walking distance of FP and today was my first day ever hiking there! The park is a 20-30 minute drive from my house, but well worth the trip. My friend, Steph, lives a couple blocks from the park (as do two of my kids), and we walked together this morning. It was a lovely day, nice temp with low humidity. Steph is familar with the hiking trails. so she led Liz (the pooch) and me for our hour long walk. We walked by the Zoo and through the Kennedy Forest (a famous haunt of talented St Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan) and for several blocks in the charming DeMun Neighborhood that straddles St. Louis City and the chic suburb of Clayton.
I recommend FP as a wonderful place to hike/walk/bike. I’ll be heading that way again before too much more time elapses!