Recreation Opportunities

Walking and Biking Trails

St Louis desperately wants to engage with a little river. This anecdotal evidence is bolstered by data. Focus groups convened prior to the 2001 passage of Prop C, The Clean Water, Safe Parks & Community Trails Initiative confirm this desire as the highest positive response (80%) was associated with cleaning up water. This proposition resulted in the formation of the Great Rivers Greenway District, who has installed several walking and balking trails that run along the River des Peres and its tributaries and continues to expand this network.

The four "Greenways" that cover the River des Peres watershed include the River des Peres, Gravois, Shady & Deer Creek, and the Centennial. You can find maps to these trails here:

You can also explore Forest Park, which is a man-made re-creation of the natural River des Peres and wetland system.

Bike tours are now available through a project funded by the Great Rivers Greenway District. Take a bike ride along the Centennial Greenway and learn about the steps members of our community are taking to help our region go ‘green.’ We will visit LEED certified green buildings, rain gardens, lots using permeable pavement, community gardens and more! Later this summer, we'll have a self-guided tour map available for download. Check our calendar of events for guided tour dates.

Bird Watching

More than 300 species of birds use the Mississippi River Flyway as they travel a route that reaches from Argentina to the Arctic. They rely on the few remaining open spaces along the nation's largest river to rest, eat and nest. The proximity of the River des Peres and its tributaries to this flyway brings many avian visitors. Area bird watching groups can help you observe and identify some of these fantastic species. You might even spot one for yourself in your own backyard, like the University City resident who observed this wild turkey in the spring of 2011! (photo credit: to U. City Patch, April 14, 2011)


Making lemonade out of lemons.