Rules, Safety & Security

Forest Park: A Safe & Welcoming Destination

Welcome to Forest Park. Since it has been beautifully restored through a partnership between our organization and the City of St. Louis, Forest Park has become an incomparable destination for more than 13 million visitors each year. For visitors of every background and interest, Forest Park is welcomingsafe and accessible.

The St. Louis Police Department takes Park safety very seriously. Beginning in 2014, there has been an overall increased Police presence in the Park, more patrols and greater coordination between all the Park institutions when it comes to ensuring a safe visitor experience. 

Photo by J.B. Forbes

Photo by J.B. Forbes

The Visitor Center lots are highlighted here in red. Click to view larger.

To help provide you with the best possible time in Forest Park, we have gathered a few tips and numbers for you to keep in mind: 

  • Prior to your arrival by car, store valuables and personal belongings out of sight (i.e. in your trunk). Be mindful to stash loose auxiliary or charging cords, as they might allude to valuables in your vehicle.

  • For morning Forest Park users, park in the convenient Visitor Center lots. Park Rangers, Mounted Police and St. Louis Police officers monitor the whole Park daily. During early and mid-mornings, when the Park is used by many runners and cyclists, there is a special monitoring focus on the parking lots just south of the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. We encourage all early morning Park users to use this convenient parking option.

  • Consider storing valuables in lockers in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. Day-use lockers are available in the Visitor Center lobby and secure locker rooms are housed in the basement. Click here to learn more about locker room memberships.

  • If you see any suspicious behavior in the Park, report it to the Police by calling 911. They will take your call quickly and handle it in the appropriate manner.

  • If you are in an emergency situation, look for the nearest light pole. The recently installed light pole address marker system means that a 911 operator will be able to locate you even if you are not quite sure where you are.

If you have questions, please call the Park Rangers at 314.289.5350 or the Mounted Police Horse Stables at 314.444.1290. If your question is related to Forest Park Forever, feel free to send us an email.

Thank you for keeping these tips in mind. We hope you enjoy your time in Forest Park!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are walkers and runners allowed to be on the asphalt path?
Yes. The Dual Path's Heels & Wheels distinction is a guideline only, and people are free to use either the asphalt or chat paths as they wish. All visitors are encouraged to be respectful and responsible as they share the path. As a pedestrian, please be aware that cyclists, rollerbladers and runners may pass on your left – walking single file will help make room for everyone.

Can I fly a drone in Forest Park? 
If you would like to fly a drone in Forest Park, you will need to submit an application for a City of St. Louis Board of Public Service Permit to BPS Secretary Cherise Jones, Room 305, City Hall. With your application, you will need to submit a copy of your pilot's license, drone specs and a certificate of insurance for $1,000,000. Please contact the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry at 314.289.5300 with additional questions.

Can I bring my own boat or kayak?
No, Park visitors are not allowed to bring their own boats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc. into or on any park waterways or lakes.

Is swimming allowed?
No, swimming is not allowed anywhere in Forest Park.

Is ice-skating allowed on frozen bodies of water in the Park?
No, this is not allowed. We suggest paying a visit to Steinberg Skating Rink during their open season (mid-November through March 1).

How about sledding?
Winter sledding is permitted (and greatly enjoyed) on Art Hill, unless restrictions are posted.

Can I hang a hammock in Forest Park?
Per the City of St. Louis’ Tree Ordinance, visitors are prohibited from
using trees to hang hammocks. Freestanding hammocks are

Who owns, operates and takes care of Forest Park?
Forest Park is owned and operated by the City of St. Louis. Forest Park Forever partners with the City of St. Louis to provide maintenance, operations, education, visitor services and capital project management for Forest Park. This public-private partnership is now a national model.

Does Forest Park have closing hours? 
Yes. The Park is closed from 10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m.

Is the Park patrolled by security?
Yes. The Park is patrolled by the St. Louis Police Department and by Park Rangers.

Who do I contact about gaining a permit for an event?
This is the best page to start with. In general, for Forest Park permits, including weddings, picnic pavilions, Jewel Box, World's Fair Pavilion and Cabanne House rentals, athletic field reservations and special events, you'll want to call the Parks Department at 314.289.5300.

Is there a Lost & Found?
Items are occasionally returned to the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center (5595 Grand Drive). Please call us at 314.367.7275.

Can I bring my pet? 
Yes. Per City Ordinance, pets are required to be on leashes.

Is fishing allowed in Forest Park?
Fishing is permitted in the lakes and lagoons in Forest Park, except where restrictions are posted. A valid Missouri fishing license is required. Fishing is not permitted in the Fish Hatchery, except through programs administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Are electric/motorized scooters allowed on the trail?
No, electric and motorized scooters are not permitted on the trail.