Share Your Feedback on Chouteau Greenway Project and Process at Feedback & Fun Fests

Community input will help to guide Framework Plan to be released in Fall 2019

Area residents are invited to engage in the making of Chouteau Greenway at one of four Feedback & Fun Fests happening throughout the City of St. Louis in July. Beginning July 9, residents are encouraged to share their ideas and reactions about the project and process to date. This feedback will help guide and shape the project’s Framework Plan slated to be released in Fall 2019. Residents will also have the opportunity to share feedback online.

 

Each Feedback & Fun Fest will have free activities, music and food to celebrate the progress to date and showcase how a greenway can be a place for community gatherings. All ages and abilities are welcome. The four events will be hosted as follows:

  • Tuesday July 9; 5-7:30 pm- Piper Palm House at Tower Grove Park (4271 Northeast Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110)
  • Saturday July 13; 9am to noon- Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club (2901 N. Grand Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110)
  • Thursday July 18; 3pm-8pm – Cortex/Venture Café (4240 Duncan Ave #200, St. Louis, MO 63110)
  • Sunday July 21; 1pm-4pm – Kaufmann Park in downtown St. Louis (corner of Tucker and Pine 63103)

Click here to share your feedback online!

The Chouteau Greenway aims to connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch and Fairground Park to Tower Grove Park through a series of pathways spanning up to 20 neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis, connecting existing destinations and creating new spaces along the way. Following initial community engagement in 2017, and an international design competition launched in 2018, the project incorporates the feedback of thousands of people across the region and the expertise and insights of more than 125 St. Louis City Residents and Civic Leaders. This deliberate planning process aims to ensure the mission, vision, key principles and intended outcomes for the Chouteau Greenway reflect the voices of the entire community. It also centers diversity, inclusion and equity as cornerstones for the project now and as the greenway evolves over time.

“This project and process are unlike anything we’ve done before and we are very grateful to everyone who has been involved so far,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “This greenway will not only connect people to our city’s most treasured places and to each other, but it will create inspiring experiences and equitable opportunities for growth.”

The interactive experiences at the Feedback & Fun Fests and online are a mix of sharing information and gathering input to ensure the Framework Plan is on track and reflects the goals of the public-private partnership. Anticipated to be completed later this fall, it will serve as a platform for the project before any schematic designs for specific segments begin. It will address design concepts including art, amenities, ecology and more; route options and criteria for selection; economic development opportunities; governance models; and an equity plan.

Feedback & Fun Fest attendees will learn what types of criteria are being studied to evaluate where the greenway might go, what an art strategy may entail and possible models of governance for a project of this scale. Attendees will be asked to share feedback on what it means to be a St. Louisan, to rank which equity strategies are important for their neighborhood, where people would like different types of art experiences, and elect how they want to be involved in the future. Participants should expect to spend about 20 minutes on the engagement activities.

“For the past two years, we’ve been building engagement into every step of the process; this is one opportunity among many to share your ideas,” said Shaughnessy H. Daniels, Civic Engagement Manager for Great Rivers Greenway. “We’re also working to engage the 20 City neighborhoods, agencies, business leaders, churches, elected officials and other institutions to collaborate as the project evolves.”

For any accommodation needs, please contact Great Rivers Greenway at 314-436-7009. Find out more about this project at www.ChouteauGreenway.org.

Greenway Alert: Greenways Impacted By Flooding UPDATED JULY 19, 2019

Closed for walking and biking but open space serving as natural flood plain during high water

Many greenways parallel area rivers, creeks and streams and are currently closed or impacted by flooding. While you can’t walk or ride right now, the flooded greenways are still serving an important purpose as a natural flood plain.  The water can spread out across the undeveloped open space during high water and then recede when river levels drop.

We post alerts on each individual greenway page to let you know about closures due to flooding, construction, maintenance or other issues. We update this information based on reports from partners, our staff and greenway users.  Note that once river levels drop, it may take a few weeks to clear any sand or debris left behind to reopen affected greenways.  Here is a comprehensive list of flood closures/impacts as of July 19, 2019:

Busch Greenway: KATY Trail to Missouri Research Park to August A. Busch Conservation Area
The boardwalk between the Duckett Creek trailhead and the Katy Trail is impacted by flooding. Other than the .75 mile segment between the Duckett Creek trailhead and Katy Trail, the rest of the greenway is open. Open (Check Missouri State Parks website for updates on Katy Trail Flooding here.)

Fee Fee Greenway: This greenway is open but you can only connect via the Maryland Heights Community Center and Aquaport side. You can use the greenway between Aquaport and Rule Ave. The trailhead in Creve Coeur Park is inaccessible due to closure of Marine Avenue. Most of the greenway is open, but there is still some water over the greenway in the portion through Creve Coeur Park. Watch for flood debris. Fee Fee Greenway is fully open and all clear! All the trails around Creve Coeur Lake are clear and ready for you to ride! Thanks to St. Louis County Parks for their speedy cleanup! 

Meramec Greenway: George Winter Park to Unger Park
Much of this greenway is impacted by floodingGeorge Winter park is closed. Portions of the greenway in Unger Park are still impacted by flooding. The southern portion of George Winter Park, including the back ramp, is closed for flood clean up. 

Sunset Greenway: Old Town Florissant to Sunset Park
The section of greenway near the Missouri River in Sunset Park has been impacted by flooding and will be closed until further notice.

Meramec Greenway: Greentree Park to Arnold’s Grove Park
There is still sand and debris on the greenway left behind from the flooding, please proceed with caution.

River des Peres Greenway: Francis R. Slay Park to Shrewsbury MetroLink, Carondelet and Lemay Parks High water and leftover debris from flooding is still impacting the eastern end of the greenway.  There is flood water in Lemay Park and it is closed to all visitors. Please avoid this area until flood waters recede. High water and leftover debris from flooding is still impacting the eastern end of the greenway. Lemay Park is closed to all visitors. Please avoid this area until flood waters recede.

Missouri Greenway: Monarch Chesterfield Levee
The greenway is closed at the highway 64 underpass due to flooding. Reopened!

Missouri Greenway: Earth City Levee
This greenway is significantly impacted by flooding. Riverwoods Park is closed and there is no access to the greenway on the levee.

Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park
The 5 mile loop and 1.2 mile loop trails in the lower section of Cliff Cave Park are closed due to flooding.  The Riverside Shelter is also closed. The paved and unpaved routes in the upper section of the park are open.

Mississippi Greenway: Chouteau Riverfront to Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (Riverfront Trail)
Large portions of this greenway are impacted by flooding and are inaccessible. All flood gates are closed except for Riverview, Maline Creek is still over the greenway, Riverfront Park is partially flooded and the downtown riverfront is still underwater. Water levels are starting to recede but there is flood debris left behind and cleanup needed before the greenway is clear. The flood gate at Ferry St. was opened but others remain closed. Cleanup of  greenway along Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. has begun. Flooding impacted the Tri-Gen plant so they are generating stream in temporary systems outside the plant;they are blocking the greenway between Biddle and Rootwad. Please find an alternate route.

Old Chain of Rocks Bridge: The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is closed to all users due to flooding on the Illinois side of the bridge. Bridge has reopened!

Meramec Greenway: Lower Meramec Park
Lower Meramec Park  is closed due to flooding.

Search all of the greenways here. 

Life Outside Festival Postponed Due to Flooding

Event rescheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2019

Great Rivers Greenway’s 4th Annual Life Outside Free Festival of the Outdoors – planned for June 8 – has been postponed due to flooding in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park. The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 10am to 3pm and will move to a new location – St. Vincent County Park along the St. Vincent Greenway. (7335 St. Charles Rock Road, 63133)

“With historic rains and flooding throughout the region, our staff had been closely monitoring conditions within Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park,” says Elizabeth Simons, Great Rivers Greenway Community Program Manager. “When the main road through the park closed, and rising water levels were predicted through the end of the week, we had no choice but to postpone. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Life Outside at St. Vincent County Park on September 21. ”

Great Rivers Greenway is working to reschedule participating clubs, organizations and businesses to ensure a dynamic lineup of classes, product demos, hands-on experiences and competitions for festival attendees.

Businesses and organizations interested in providing an outdoor activity at the event can contact Elizabeth Simons, at esimons@grgstl.org and 314-932-4904. More information about the Life Outside Festival can be found at www.LiveLifeOutside.org.

 

Maline Greenway Opens in Bella Fontaine Park!

Area residents and local elected officials cut the ribbon on first 1.6 miles of the planned 7 mile greenway in North St. Louis County

Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis County Parks, elected officials and area residents celebrated the opening of the Maline Greenway in North St. Louis County at a ribbon cutting Thursday, May 9 in Bella Fontaine County Park. The event was held in conjunction with St. Louis County’s Food Truck Fest.

This project creates 1.6 miles of the planned seven-mile Maline Greenway, an east-west link that will connect the Mississippi and St. Vincent Greenways. When complete, the Maline Greenway will travel along Maline Creek through the cities of Berkeley, Kinloch, Ferguson, Jennings, Moline Acres, Bellefontaine neighbors and Riverview in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis.

The first phase of the new greenway was built primarily within Bella Fontaine County Park and includes new and refurbished, ADA accessible walking and biking paths and the replacement of three bridges. There is also a new underpass beneath Highway 367/Lewis & Clark Boulevard, providing a safe, seamless connection between both sides of the park and two Metro transit stops.

Additional improvements include a new rain garden (native-to-Missouri plants that absorb storm water) and streambank restoration along Maline Creek to help improve water quality and reduce erosion. This section of Maline Creek drains a developed urban watershed that generates high volumes of rushing water during heavy rainstorms. To help mitigate this, portions of the stream bank were reshaped, sloping outward to create a place for water to spread out and temporarily pool. Two rock riffles—a wall of rocks across the bottom of the creek bed, perpendicular to the water flow—were also installed to help slow down the flow of water. The reduction in water flow not only prevents erosion at the site of the rock riffle, but also downstream as the creek heads toward the Mississippi River. Construction was coordinated with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) to coincide with planned improvements to the waste and storm water infrastructure in the area. Improvements made to the MSD sewer system will now prevent any sewage from entering into the creek in this area.

There is also new landscaping including more than 300 trees and shrubs and new seating areas for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

Plan your visit to the Maline Greenway here.

Mary Meachum Recap

Africans to Americans: Two Events in St. Louis Successfully Celebrate 400 Years of Black History


Ancestry Workshop, Guest Speakers & DNA Reveal April 27th, 2019

17th Annual Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration May 4th, 2019


 

Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History Ancestry Workshop, Speakers & DNA Reveal April 27th, 2019

As part of the Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History event, the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration and St. Louis Public Library’s Genealogy Room hosted a free event on Saturday, April 27 at the Central Library to help people of color trace their ancestry in America. Because typical genealogical research strategies often fail when applied to enslaved African Americans, the workshop brought together a panel of experts to equip and inspire people of color to trace their family history.   Event attendees learned how to get started from a panel of experts, along with  one-on-one research tips, tricks and assistance from Association of African Ancestored Researchers, local researcher Connie Eller and the St. Louis Public Library’s Genealogy Room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, four speakers shared their experiences in the auditorium and answered the audiences’ question in a panel format at the end:

Panelists from left to right: Connie Eller, Christopher Nordmann, Daniel Lilienkamp, LaDonna Garner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The panelists and  presentations included:

  • Connie Eller, “Walk the Dirt”- Learn more about the value of tracing family history and visiting the places where ancestors lived from past to present.
  • Christopher Nordmann, “Locating Your Slave Ancestor’s Owner: A Case Study”- Trace an African American family in freedom back to slavery from Missouri to Kentucky to Virginia using a variety of records.
  • LaDonna Garner, “Recording Families is Recording Local History”- Family groupings form neighborhoods, and neighborhoods shape into communities. Learn why it is important to preserve the artifacts of these communities to maintain a blueprint of local history.
  • Daniel Lilienkamp, “Manuscript Collections: A Tool for Finding Your Enslaved African American Ancestors”- Learn why typical U.S. genealogical research strategies often fail when applied to enslaved African Americans and how to begin researching slave owning families’ detailed plantation records to trace ancestry. (Followed by question and answers.)

Lastly, Dr. Gina Paige, founder of AfricanAncestry.com spoke about their database and system. She then delivered DNA results to two locals, including one city official.

Dr. Gina Paige, founder of AfricanAncestry.com and Michael Butler, Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It was really illuminating to find out my family’s African ancestry is originally from Cameroon. Because our records were not kept, so many of us are just now discovering our specific backgrounds. Our archives office was honored to participate at the annual Mary Meachum celebration in helping other families uncover their genealogies,” said Michael Butler, Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis.


Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History
17th Annual Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration May 4th, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019, from noon to 5 p.m., residents from around the St. Louis region and beyond came to watch history come to life near Missouri’s first nationally-recognized Underground Railroad site, the historic Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. Because of the high floodwaters, the event that normally takes place on the riverfront was relocated to the dry side of the floodwall on Prairie Street.

Attendees exploring the celebration

Approximately 500 guests experienced local performers, dancers, drummers, gospel choirs, Jennings High School Band, plus remarks and resolutions from city, county and state elected officials. Attendees could also engage with local organizations providing games and bikes for children, jobs and resources and vendors selling food, drink, art and goods. The 400 years of history was told by three renowned St. Louis-area playwrights through a 3-act performance; each focused on a different timeframe between 1619 and 2019. Angela da Silva, Gregory S. Carr and Mariah L. Richardson wrote the plays for local actors, musicians and storytellers to bring to life through poetry, music and reenactments. DJ Scooda from Praise 95.1 emceed the entire event.

Local group Spirit of Angela performs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This year is a milestone of black history and it was important that it be elevated and celebrated,” says Angela da Silva, Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University, director of the National Black Tourism Network, historical reenactor director, and Mary Meachum event manager. “It’s important for all of us to not only recognize 400 years of hardship and sacrifice but also honor the incredible contributions black people have made to this country since 1619.”

The site commemorates the work of Mary Meachum, a free woman of color who guided many slaves to freedom by helping them to cross over to the free state of Illinois, and later helped to spearhead education efforts for men, women and children of color in St. Louis.


Open to all ages, both events were free, put on by a partnership of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, National Black Tourism Network, Youth & Family Center, National Underground Railroad Network, the City of St. Louis, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis County Library, St. Charles County Parks and the Historic Daniel Boone Home, Great Rivers Greenway, Missouri Division of Tourism,. For more information, visit www.MaryMeachum.org.

Come Celebrate the Opening of Maline Greenway: Bella Fontaine County Park- May 9, 2019

You are invited to celebrate the opening of the Maline Greenway: Bella Fontaine County Park! We’ve teamed up with our project partners,  St. Louis County Parks, to cut the ribbon on Thursday, May 9 in conjunction with their Food Truck Fest in Bella Fontaine County Park!

This project creates 1.6 miles of the planned seven-mile Maline Greenway, an east-west link that will connect the Mississippi and St. Vincent Greenways. This phase of the new greenway was built primarily within Bella Fontaine County Park and includes new and refurbished, ADA accessible walking and biking paths and the replacement of three bridges. There is also a new underpass beneath Highway 367/Lewis & Clark Boulevard, providing a safe, seamless connection between both sides of the park and two Metro transit stops. (Bella Fontaine County Park is located at 9565 Bellefontaine Rd, St. Louis, MO 63137)

Additional improvements include a new rain garden (native-to-Missouri plants that absorb storm water) and streambank restoration along Maline Creek to help improve water quality and reduce erosion. This section of Maline Creek drains a developed urban watershed that generates high volumes of rushing water during heavy rainstorms. To mitigate this, portions of the stream bank were reshaped, sloping outward to create a place for water to spread out and temporarily pool. Two rock riffles—a wall of rocks across the bottom of the creek bed, perpendicular to the water flow—were also installed to help slow down the flow of water. The reduction in water flow not only prevents erosion at the site of the rock riffle, but also downstream as the creek heads toward the Mississippi River. Construction was coordinated with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) to coincide with planned improvements to the waste and storm water infrastructure in the area. Improvements made to the MSD sewer system will now prevent any sewage from entering into the creek in this area.

There is also new landscaping including more than 300 trees and shrubs and new seating areas for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

“Thanks to the new Maline Greenway, people of all ages and abilities have a safe, seamless connection between both sides of Bella Fontaine Park and the bus stops on Lewis and Clark Blvd.,” says Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “Neighborhood residents and park visitors can enjoy the walking and biking paths, playgrounds, ball fields, and other park amenities without having to navigate across four lanes of a busy highway when they are out walking, riding a bike, or pushing a stroller.”

Area residents can see the recently completed greenway and other park improvements during the May 9 St. Louis County Parks Food Truck Fest. The free event includes a lineup of popular area food trucks and live music by the Steve Ewing Duo. The event runs from 5-8 pm with live music from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Project partners, contractors, and elected officials will officially open the new greenway with a ribbon cutting during the band’s intermission at approximately 6:30 pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase; no coolers are allowed.

“The new Maline Greenway makes this park more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. We are excited to deliver an improved Bella Fontaine Park to the people who live and work in North County and beyond,” says Gary Bess, St. Louis County Parks Director. “We encourage the community to join us on May 9 as we celebrate all the improvements to this popular St. Louis County park.”

Celebrate History at the 17th Annual Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration -From Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History

May 4 Freedom Crossing Celebration, which will be held at the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site, will feature historical re-enactments written by three area playwrights, a choir competition, and activities for children. Free Ancestry Workshop April 27 at the St. Louis Central Library aims to inspire and encourage people of color trace their ancestry.

On Saturday, May 4, 2019, from noon to 5 p.m., residents from around the St. Louis region and beyond are invited to watch history come to life at Missouri’s first nationally-recognized Underground Railroad site, the historic Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing. That day, area residents can experience 400 years of American history as told by three renowned St. Louis-area playwrights. The “Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History” event will chronicle the stories of Africans, who first arrived to America as slaves in 1619 to present day. This is the 17th annual event being held at the Mary Meachum site to commemorate the historical significance of the site and the importance of African American history in St. Louis and beyond.

Residents of all ages attending the free celebration on May 4 will be able to watch three historical plays, as shown through the lens of three different playwrights; each focused on a different timeframe between 1619 and 2019. Angela da Silva, Gregory S. Carr and Mariah L. Richardson have written these plays for local actors, musicians and storytellers to bring to life through poetry, music and reenactments. The event will also feature music, games for children, a gospel choir competition sponsored by Praise 95.1 radio, as well as food, drinks, and artisan goods/crafts for purchase.

“This year is a milestone of black history that must be elevated and celebrated,” says Angela da Silva, Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University, director of the National Black Tourism Network, historical reenactor director, and Mary Meachum event manager. “It’s important for all of us to not only recognize 400 years of hardship and sacrifice but also honor the incredible contributions black people have made to this country since 1619.”

The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing site is located on the Mississippi River Greenway on the banks of the Mississippi River, just north of Merchant’s Bridge in North St. Louis City (28 East Grand St. Louis, Missouri 63147). The site commemorates the work of Mary Meachum, a free woman of color who guided many slaves to freedom by helping them to cross over to the free state of Illinois, and later helped to spearhead education efforts for men, women and children of color in St. Louis.

Open to all ages, this event is free, and is a partnership of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, National Black Tourism Network, Youth & Family Center, National Underground Railroad Network, the City of St. Louis, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis County Library, St. Charles County Parks and the Historic Daniel Boone Home, Great Rivers Greenway, Missouri Division of Tourism,. For more information, visit www.MaryMeachum.org.


Area Residents Invited to Free Ancestry Workshop at St. Louis Central Library Sat. April 27

Panel of experts will offer strategies and inspiration for people of color to trace their ancestry in America

As part of the Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History event, the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration and St. Louis Public Library’s Genealogy Room are co-hosting a free workshop to help people of color trace their ancestry in America. Typical genealogical research strategies often fail when applied to enslaved African Americans. Area residents can learn the value of tracing one’s family history and how to get started from a panel of experts. The event will be held from 10:30- 5-:00 pm at the St. Louis Central Library Auditorium (lower level) located at 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis 63103.

Dr. Gina Paige, National Expert and found of African Ancestry will give the keynote address. The Ancestry Workshop schedule and speaker lineup is as follows:

Auditorium Lobby for Public Consults

  • 10:30 – 12:30 Open for Public Consultations
    Area residents can bring DNA results or family tree for consultation with Association of African Ancestored Researchers & the St. Louis Public Library’s Genealogy Room.
  • Auditorium for Speaker Event
    12:35 Introduction of Speakers – All Speakers on stage
  • 12:40 Connie Eller, “Walk the Dirt”- Learn more about the value of tracing family history and visiting the places where ancestors lived from past to present.
  • 1:10 Christopher Nordmann, “Locating Your Slave Ancestor’s Owner: A Case Study”- Trace an African American family in freedom back to slavery from Missouri to Kentucky to Virginia using a variety of records.
  • 1:40 LaDonna Garner, “Recording Families is Recording Local History”- Family groupings form neighborhoods, and neighborhoods shape into communities. Learn why it is important to preserve the artifacts of these communities to maintain a blueprint of local history.
  • 2:10 Daniel Lilienkamp, “Manuscript Collections: A Tool for Finding Your Enslaved African American Ancestors”- Learn why typical U.S. genealogical research strategies often fail when applied to enslaved African Americans and how to begin researching slave owning families’ detailed plantation records to trace ancestry. (Followed by question and answers.)
  • 3:30 Keynote Address – Dr. Gina Paige, founder of African Ancestry
  • 4:30: Michael Butler DNA Reveal (St. Louis City recorder of Deeds) Dr. Paige will take audience questions following the reveal of the ancestry results of a St. Louis personage.

The Ancestry Workshop is free. For updates follow the event on Facebook here. To learn more about Dr. Gina Paige and African Ancestry visit http://www.africanancestry.com/home/

Bike Rides for Older Adults

It’s never too late to enjoy the fun and proven health benefits of bicycling!

Think you’re too old to ride a bike? Think again! It’s never too late to enjoy the health benefits (and fun!) of cycling. But don’t just take our word for it; the results of a recent Mayo Clinic study may motivate you to get back on a bike!

Researchers monitored the effects of different exercise regimens on healthy (but sedentary) men and women over the age of 64 and under the age of 30. After twelve weeks, the subjects who did interval workouts while pedaling a bicycle showed the greatest increase in the number and health of muscle cell “power generators”—the mitochondria. An unexpected finding was this positive effect was even more pronounced among the older cyclists. What does this mean for you? According to the study’s lead author, the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging can be ‘corrected” with exercise in the form of interval training. Are you ready to get back on a bike yet?

Bike Riding as Interval Training
Interval training is any workout that alternates bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. Many activities can be turned into an interval workout. However, a bike ride can deliver all the fitness benefits of interval training along with a healthy dose of fresh air, fun, and ever-changing scenery. So where do you begin…?

Back in the Saddle Again: Bike Rides for Older Adults in the St. Louis Region
With more than 125 miles of greenway across our region, you can take your pick of scenic routes, natural areas and parks to explore and enjoy. Click here to see a list of all the greenways.  If you would rather ride with a group, there are a number of options for older adults and those who are new to cycling:

City of Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts
The City of Chesterfield offers weekly group bike rides for adults age 55 and older. They ride on greenways across the regional as well as the KATY Trail.  The rides are free and designed to accommodate people of all fitness levels. They ride on the 1st and 3rd Mondays at 9:30am. Click here to download the 2019 schedule. Contact olderadults@chesterfield.mo.us  or call 636.812.9500 to be placed on their mailing list.

AARP Boomers and Bikes
AARP offers free, guided bike rides on greenways  one Saturday each month, May through October. Must be 50 years or older and wear a helmet. Visit their website for the complete schedule and to pre-register.

St. Louis Recreational Cyclists
St. Louis Recreational Cyclists is a bicycling group that offers “both moderate and more challenging group rides” in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Visit their website to learn more.

Women’s Cycling Community of Greater St. Louis
The Women’s Cycling Community (WC2) offers group rides on greenways, trails and roads around the region. They welcome all levels of riders from beginners needing a mentor to experienced. Find riding buddies, cycling tips, social events and adventures for women of all ages and abilities across the region. Visit their “meetup” web site to learn more.

If you know of other group rides for older adults or those who are new to cycling, tell us here.


Adventures With an Older Adult Group Bike Ride: Bike Stop Café to Bike Stop Cafe

Curious what a group bike ride is like? Mary Klauke, recreation specialist with the City of Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts tells all:

“In spring 2017, we kicked off our inaugural season of weekly bike rides for adults age 55 and older on the Missouri Greenway: Monarch Chesterfield Levee. We had a really enthusiastic group of people ranging from 53 to 82 years old. Some of the participants had been riding for years; others were just getting back on a bike. We made it clear that everyone was welcome to set their own pace. We also wanted everyone to determine how far they wanted to go.

After several weeks, our group wanted to see some new sites so I organized rides on Grant’s Trail, the Al Foster Trail in the Meramec Greenway, Creve Coeur Park to Centennial Greenway and the KATY Trail.

We continued riding every Monday through the summer. It was exciting to see everyone increase their speed and endurance. By September we were ready for a “graduation ride.” I planned a trip that took us 18.3 miles from the Bike Stop Café in Chesterfield to the Bike Stop Café in St. Charles on the KATY Trail.

We met at the Chesterfield Bike Stop Café at Taubman Prestige Outlets near the food court.  After a little rain, the sun came out (along with a full rainbow!) and we enjoyed a beautiful ride across the Missouri River to the KATY Trail. We took a pit stop and cookie and pie break at Thies Farms on Greens Bottom Road parallel to the trail. Seven miles further down the KATY Trail we pulled off and enjoyed a delicious lunch on the patio at Bike Stop Café in St. Charles. A few people opted to take the Bike Stop Café Shuttle back to Chesterfield and the rest of the group enjoyed the 18 mile return trip (for a total of 36 miles) back to their cars. It was a great way to cap off our inaugural season!”(Contact olderadults@chesterfield.mo.us to be placed on their mailing list.)

Does that sound like fun?

Plan your own Bike Stop Cafe to Bike Stop Cafe Trip here!

Greenway Getaway: Confluence of Meramec and Western Greenways

THE BLUEBELLS ARE BLOOMING! THE BLUEBELLS ARE BLOOMING!

If you’ve never explored the confluence of the Western and Meramec Greenways, now is the time to plan a trip!  There are a variety of things to see and do along the way, so we’ve compiled a list of options so you can build your own adventure.


Meramec Greenway: Glencoe to Sherman Beach Park
This greenway stretches from Sherman Beach in southwest St. Louis County along the river to Glencoe with a spur north called Rock Hollow. There are several trails that connect along this stretch of the Meramec Greenway, making it possible to walk or bike for several miles on paved and unpaved paths surrounding the Meramec River. You will enjoy outstanding views of the river and riverfront forest as you connect to Rockwoods Reservation, Sherman Beach and Castlewood State Park.



Rock Hollow Trail. (2.2 miles)

Lots of Bluebells to be found along Rock Hollow!

This 2.2 mile spur (paved) stretches from atop Ridge Road, 2.2 miles down the bluff where it connects to the Meramec Greenway and Al Foster Trail. If you love a hill, you will love this paved spur!  You can park at Ridge Meadows Elementary School (777 Ridge Rd, Ballwin, MO 63021) and walk or ride your bike down the hill and back for a round trip of 4.4 miles. Once you reach the bottom of the trail, you can also connect to the Al Foster Trail.

One word of caution: if you are pushing a stroller, or riding with younger children—the trip back up the hill may not be as much fun! Another option is to connect to the Rock Hollow trail via the Al Foster trail.   Park at the trailhead (225 Grand Ave, Wildwood, MO 63038) by the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad, and walk one mile on the Al Foster Trail to its connection with the Rock Hollow Trail.


Al Foster Trail (5.5 miles)
Lots of Bluebells blooming along the Al Foster Trail!

The Al Foster Trail lies within the Meramec Greenway and stretches from the trailhead on Grand Avenue near the intersection of Old State road and Highway 109 by the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific miniature railroad to Sherman Beach. It offers amazing view of the Meramec River and soaring limestone bluffs.  Please note that the trail surface for the first 3 miles from Glencoe to Sherman beach is made of compacted rock. As it nears Castlewood Park, it transitions from rock to dirt and narrows significantly. If you are on a bike you will need to turn around at Sherman Beach. You can use a road bike on the Al Foster Trail (with narrower tires), just be careful after it rains and use caution when crossing the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific railroad tracks.  A complete trail washout has occurred at the Castlewood Narrows section of the trail within Castlewood State Park. Choose your shoes accordingly!



Western  Greenway: Rockwoods Reservation to Meramec Greenway (1.6 miles)

The master plan for this greenway is to connect the Meramec and Missouri Greenways. There is a 1.6 mile asphalt trail that currently extends from Grand Avenue between Glencoe City Park (421 Grand Avenue, Glencoe, MO 63038) and the Al Foster Trail head to Rockwoods Reservation.

 

Also known as the Hamilton Carr Trail, it features two tunnels; one under Old State road and the other under Highway 109. This makes it much safer to cross these busy roads. Once you reach Rockwoods Reservation, you can explore one of six hiking trails within this conservation area.  Click here for more information about Rockwoods Reservation.


Other things to know when planning your trip:
The Trailhead and parking for both the Western Greenway and Meramec Greenway is located at 225 Grand Avenue, Wildwood, MO 63038.

There is a playground and restrooms at Glencoe City Park, 421 Grand Avenue in Glencoe. This is just .25 miles down the street from the Al Foster Trailhead at 225 Grand Ave, Wildwood, MO 63038.

The Wabash, Frisco and Pacific Railroad operates every Sunday from 11 am to 4:15 pm, May through October.  Learn more here.

The area surrounding the Al Foster Memorial Trail has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Many songbird and woodland warbler species are drawn to nest and feed in the secluded forest habitat.

Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash.