Forest Park is a haven for active recreation. Whether it’s the dual path system that circles the park or the many hiking paths in the Park’s interior, there’s a perfect place for exercise enthusiasts to get a great workout.
DUAL PATH SYSTEM
The original bike path in Forest Park opened in 1898 for “all persons riding horses, bicycles, and tricycles.” Today, the number of joggers, walkers, bikers, and skaters in the park is at an all-time high.
The master plan proposed a 5.6-mile dual path system with parallel hard and soft surface paths in most areas. The soft surface is meant to accommodate walkers, joggers, and others traveling at a slower velocity. Biking and skating take place on the hard surface. The dual path more than doubled the path capacity and also made the paths safer by splitting the traffic, separating wheels from heels.
The hard path is made of asphalt. The soft surface path is limestone chip. Maintenance requirements and durability were major considerations taken into account in choosing the materials. It was also important that the materials were known to be good athletic surfaces.
Both paths are 10 feet wide for a total surface width of 20 feet. For this reason, the way they are divided is dictated by location in the park. For instance, at road crossings and other narrow areas the paths are side by side. In other cases, they are divided by trees and other landscaping, depending on the surroundings.
WALKING TOURS OF FOREST PARK
Volunteer and self-guided audio walking tours of Forest Park are now available. Check out tours here.
JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL FOREST
The Missouri Department of Conservation has installed hiking trails throughout the Kennedy Forest. The trails are destinations for bird watchers, as more than 100 species of migratory warblers have been spotted in Forest Park. Learn more about these birds at Counting Warblers.
Our Mission: To restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks, for the enjoyment of all ~ now and forever.