Why I Run Forest Park

It’s only 7 a.m. and already the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor Center in Forest Park buzzes with runners. Some congregate over coffee at Forest Perk Café, having already finished their run, while others make a pit stop for a drink of water and a restroom break. Others are heading out for their long run, and on this particular March morning, high school runners (students on the GO!) socialize before their training run for the GO! STL half marathon.

What is it that motivates a person to come out in the early morning hours to run on a cold, gray day? We decided to find out in celebration of #RunForestPark Week.

Why do you #RunForestPark?

The running community of Forest Park extends beyond the runners; it includes all the people making the Park and the Visitor Center the hub of St. Louis running. Regardless of your reason for why you run Forest Park, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that make this Park a go-to destination for so many runners. As part of its partnership with the City of St. Louis to care for the Park, Forest Park Forever: 

  • Maintains the path system, making major repairs and repaving when necessary

  • Re-chats the heels path in areas as needed

  • Clears the snow in the winter on the asphalt/wheels path

  • Blows leaves and debris off the trails

  • Monitors and fixes potholes as needed

  • Repaints, repaves and reseals the paths to keep them in good condition

  • Removes litter

  • Maintains year-round restrooms and drinking fountains

  • Manages and maintains the Visitor Center 

RecreationJen Roberts