Dual Path Survey: Forest Park Forever Wants Your Thoughts on Recreation Paths, Amenities

There's a lot to enjoy in Forest Park. Cultural institutions obviously rank high on this list. Many visit the Zoo, History Museum, Art Museum, Science Center and MUNY, drive into the park, enjoy one of these and leave. Others choose to explore more and take in the nearly 6-mile paved or gravel path encircling the park. Some make it a weekend event, for those living near the park it can be a daily occurrence. It's this experience for which Forest Park Forever wants your feedback.

The Dual Path Online Survey is currently featured on the Forest Park Forever website. The questions seek to understand   what's missing from the paths in Forest Park and what users would like to see. There is a long list of amenities being considered, including: benches, bike racks, drinking fountains, raised intersection crosswalks, public art, lighting, path etiquette signage and more.

I encourage everyone who uses the paths in Forest Park to go to the Forest Park Forever website and fill out a survey. It's unclear how long the survey will be active. For what it's worth, here's my take: the dual path (asphalt and gravel) needs to be extended all the way around Forest Park and have options across the interior of the park in a couple locations. One lap of the park is basically 6 miles. Any run or walk shorter than this becomes and "out and back". If there were more options, the park would be much more usable. Specifically, a dual path route should bisect the park following the current asphalt path from the Visitor's Center to the Boathouse, up the the Jewel Box and connect with the south side path. The asphalt path used to connect through the AAA Golf Course, but this has be eliminated. Sidewalks just don't cut it.

In terms of other amenities. At the top of my list are shade and drinking fountains. Though the heavily used path adjacent to Lindell between Skinker and DeBaliviere is well shaded, much of the rest of the 6 miles offers very little respite from the St. Louis sun. From the drinking fountain a bit off the trail west of the Zoo on the dual path you must travel almost 3 miles before you reach another drinking fountain. This covers nearly all the south and east sides of the path. Beyond that I have few urgent requests. Official mile markers would be nice, and presumably inexpensive and although I'm familiar with the park, direction signage would be nice for visitors. How about you? What's good and bad about the paths in Forest Park? Feel free to leave a comment here, but don't forget to fill out the survey.

{orange=paved paths, blue=gravel paths, yellow=drinking fountains on path}