While you may be tempted to head straight to St. Louis’s iconic landmark–the Gateway Arch, you’ll be better served by visiting Forest Park and the Central West End, the lesser known gems residing in the city of St. Louis.
When visiting this natural escape, you’ll be struck by many things, in particular, the size of the park and the diversity of landscape the park offers. As a runner, I was impressed by the expansive layout of the shady space–soft dirt trails led me to explore one end of the park to another, all within my afternoon’s jog. While I’m not triathlete, I was surprised at how long it took me to reach the other side.
What did I find along the way? To start, the park hosts a multitude of diverse features–shady tree-lined trails, a lush forest, a sweeping meadows, even marshy wetlands. Running through the park, which is twice the size of Central Park in NYC, I was struck by the change of scenic landscape–a wonderful prize for any trail runner. Camera in hand, I snapped photos of worn foot bridges, a vineyard, even a sunlit pond.
As I made my way through the park, I found more than the natural highlights-I stumbled upon a war memorial, an amphitheater, even a renowned zoo! I must admit that the park brought me back to the days of my youth, when exploring the woods and the natural world was the most exciting adventure one could undertake.
Any visitor to the St. Louis should make Central Park a stop on their way. Whether you’re just rolling through the Arched City and need to stretch your legs, or you’ve got an afternoon to spare to explore the deep pockets of the place, this lovely park is a must-stop on your travel list.