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St. Louis: Get Outside

May 16, 2018 | Around Town

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For outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for some fresh air, there are plenty of ways to get out in nature in the Gateway City. While St. Louis has plenty to entertain as an urban center, sometimes you need to escape the bustle and surround yourself with some greenery. Here are a few places in and around St. Louis that are great for outdoor recreation:

Citygarden

Among the tall buildings of downtown St. Louis lies a little oasis of art and greenspace. Citygarden is located 801 Market Street in downtown and spans 2 blocks between 8th and 10th streets, with plenty of space to stretch your legs. You’ll find a collection of internationally renowned sculptures and a vibrant landscape of lush plants to explore. This serene park is blocked off from cars, so you can truly escape from the buzz of the city. With fountains, sprinklers, and pools to cool off in, it’s a popular meeting spot in the summer. The park is open year-round, and they even allow dogs. You’ll occasionally find food trucks here, and there’s a Kaldi's cafe right in the park. Best of all, this outdoor art and green space is completely free for public use.

 

Weldon Springs Hollow - Lewis and Clark Trails

If you’re looking to get your heartrate up with a hike or trail run, the Lewis and Clark trails are a great choice. About a half hour outside the city, these scenic trails, located in Weldon Springs Hollow, provide a lovely respite from the busy metro area. Here, visitors will find a well-kept wilderness area full of history and some great viewing spots over the Missouri River. You can enjoy a longer hike on the Lewis Trail, an 8-mile extension, or take the shorter 5.3-mile loop on the Clark Trail.

 

Go Ape

Located in Maryland Heights, under 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis, is Go Ape, an airborne outdoor-adventure park. With zip lines, suspended obstacles, and Tarzan swings, this place is great for family excursions, team-building exercises, and even conquering your fear of heights. With 5 courses to check out, expect about 2 to 3 hours to adventure through this treetop jungle gym. You’ll get some fantastic scenic views from atop the trees while enjoying this unique spot.

 

Laumeier Sculpture Park

This sculpture park is located in St. Louis at 12580 Rott Road, about 20 minutes from the Gateway Arch. This 105-acre park is filled with great trail hikes and over 70 large-scale art sculptures. There’s also a music amphitheatre where they host special events and traveling exhibitions. This internationally-recognized, nonprofit arts organization was founded in 1976 as one of the first dedicated sculpture parks in the U.S. The park is open daily and free to the public.

 

Onondaga Cave State Park

This adventurous park is located just under an hour and a half from St. Louis and is worth the trip. Onondaga Cave State Park is said to be a bit less touristy than the Meramec Caverns close by, with some amazing history and a wondrous underground landscape to explore. Under the surface, you can take a tour with guides who lead you into the depths, adventuring through lighted paths of stalagmites, stalactites, and active flowstones. This National Natural Landmark is why Missouri is often referred to as “The Cave State.” You can also choose to stay above ground and check out the Vilander Bluff Natural Area where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Meramec River and take part in some canoeing or fishing in the river.

 

 

Though the city itself has plenty to offer, sometimes the urge to get outside and escape the city bustle strikes. Whether you’re seeking exercise, a green space to meet friends, a family adventure, or an exploration of art and history, there are plenty of ways enjoy the fresh air without going far from the city.

 
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