The biking community in St. Louis (trailnet.org, greatriversgreenway.org) has for years been busily building a web of trails linking every corner of the greater metro area to every other, and you, the biking enthusiast, are the beneficiary. And if you didn’t ride into town on your trusty Schwinn, you can rent one (or something even better) at Big Shark Bicycle Company (6133 Delmar Blvd. in The Loop, 314.862.1188, and 1009 Locust St., downtown, 314.881.0322). But which of St. Louis’ many trails should you tackle first? We recommend three.
Zip around the 6.2-mile trail in Forest Park, our 1,300-acre gem of an urban greenspace. You’ll pedal past golf courses, lakes, woods and major attractions like the Saint Louis Science Center and Missouri History Museum. Then you can veer off into the nearby Central West End for refreshments at Pickles Deli (22 N. Euclid Ave., 314.361.3095).
Do part of the Katy Trail. You can’t do all of it (at least not in one day) because it stretches 240 miles across Missouri from Machens to Clinton. A rails-to-trails project, Katy traces a former railroad path mostly alongside the Missouri River, which means great river views at various points. If you start at Weldon Spring and go east, you’ll get some of those views and end up in Missouri’s largest historic district, Main Street in St. Charles, where a bevy of restaurants await to serve you. We recommend Llywelyn’s Pub (100 N. Main St., 636.724.8520).
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was replaced in 1967, and in 1999 it was officially re-opened as a hiking/biking trail across the Mississippi River; at one mile in length the world’s longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge. Located north of St. Louis, the bridge affords views (on a clear day) of the Gateway Arch. From there you can take the Riverfront Trail south to downtown St. Louis and its endless supply of eateries, including Morgan Street Brewery (721 N. 2nd St. in Laclede’s Landing, 314.231.9970).