Four Great Reasons to Get Outside RIGHT NOW

Feeling cooped up? Need a change of scenery? Our region’s 128 miles of greenways are the perfect place to spend a winter day. Here are four great reasons to get outside right now:

Only-in-the-winter River Views

Many of the greenways meander alongside or cross over creeks and streams—including the Mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. With the bare trees of winter, you’ll be treated to extra stunning river views while also enjoying the calming side effects of flowing water. Take your pick of these ten great river views on greenways.

See eagles in the wild!

 Every year, eagles migrate to the St. Louis region to hunt and fish along area waterways. The Old Chain of Ricks Bridge on the Mississippi Greenway offers a spectacular vantage point for spotting eagles in the wild. All eagle enthusiasts are welcome to plan their own visit to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge!

The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is opened every day by 9am by volunteer bridge keepers and closed 30 minutes after dusk by the Madison County Police Department. During icy conditions, the bridge may not open. Please check out website and social media for alerts. Please do not plan to enter the bridge earlier than 9am. Thanks for your understanding and thanks to our volunteer bridge keepers who help keep this historic bridge open for you to explore and enjoy!

PARKING INFORMATION: The parking lot on the Missouri side of the bridge is currently closed, but access to the bridge is available from Illinois: To get to the bridge, take I-270 and exit at IL Route 3, go south to Chain of Rocks Road and follow west to the bridge entrance parking area (free). (Link to google map here.) Parking is NOT allowed along Riverview Blvd.

Winter Bird Watching

Greenways are great places for birdwatching—even in January! The bare branches make it easier to see a variety of birds, but you have to slow down, be quiet and look up. (They can see you easier this time of year too!)  Check out the bird of the week on the St. Louis Audubon Society website, then plan a trip to a greenway to see if you can spot one yourself. See which greenways have been recognized as “important bird areas” along with some tips for beginner birdwatchers here.  

Boost Your Mood

There are volumes of research that show spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. These proven benefits include lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, and increased mood and concentration. You don’t need to exercise vigorously to reap these benefits, you just have to spend some time outdoors. Find a greenway here, then head outside to feel better!