United States

St. Louis, MO

A Guide to the Best Places to Run in St. Louis

One of the more richly historic cities in the country, St. Louis lives up to its name as Gateway to the West. Due to its geographically central location and its relation to the Mississippi River, it became one of the major port cities and stops during westward expansion,  which is exhibited at the Museum of Westward Expansion and anchored by Gateway Arch National Park. There’s been a lot of revitalization of the downtown area, the National Park, and an expanding system of greenways. There’s a good variety for running in St. Louis, from the historic Arch area, riverfront paths, signature parks, and the Great Rivers Greenway trail system, which extends well into the western suburbs.

The signature run downtown incorporates the the historic downtown, Gateway National Park, and the Eads Bridge. The Riverfront Trail heads for several miles north along the Mississippi, with great views and bridge crossings. We also love Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Our guide to the best places to run in St. Louis features additional parks and greenways that are part of the 130+ miles of the ever-expanding Great Rivers Greenway system (interactive map).

Topographically, St. Louis is relatively flat, with some slow rolling prairies. The Metrolink consists of the blue (MLB) and red (MLR) line. Running mostly parallel to each other, these lines can bring you to Forest Park and beyond. Upon arriving in the western suburbs, the Blue Line curves south and west, whereas the Red Line continues northwest to the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

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Some of our favorite runs in St. Louis, MO

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Without mountains or a large body of water to absorb or alter some of the weather patterns, the climate of St. Louis can swing from very hot and humid hot during the summer months to quite cold and windy during the winter months. Summers are hot and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. Winters are cold but not frigid.


Most hotels are within a few blocks of the Gateway Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park. The MetroLink Red Line provides stops from the airport to the downtown area. A few hotels are located near entrances of Forest Park due to the prevalence of tourist sites and landmarks, and the Washington University Danforth campus.st-louis-hotels-forest-park-2 st-louis-downtown-hotels-1


Big River Running Company — Four locations: Near downtown St. Louis: University City and South City Shore; Outside: O’Fallon and West County Store.
Group Runs: on Monday evenings, pub runs the third Wednesday of each month, Wednesday morning women’s runs from early spring until early fall; and winter running groups.

The Running Center of St. Louis — Located outside of the city in the nearby suburb of Rock Hill (approximately a ten minute drive west from Forest Park), the family owned operation has been in business for 33 years.

True Runner — Located in the western suburb of Brentwood next to the Galeria Mall. Group Runs: Wednesday nights from the store with pizza available for all who participate.

Run Clubs and Tours

St. Louis Track Club— With offices located a few blocks west of Tower Grove Park (approximately two miles from downtown), the St. Louis Track Club is the area’s premier running group. Hosting race series that encourage winter running, including the Frostbite Series and the Snowball Series, they also host one of the The St. Louis Half Marathon, benefiting the Special Olympics.

St. Louis Running Tour — Marketed as the first and only running tour of the city, the St. Louis Running Tour is a running tour of the landmarks of the city. Running for all paces, guests have two options: downtown or The Hill neighborhood, also known as the traditional Italian neighborhood.

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in St. Louis, MO

Race calendar, from St. Louis Track Club.

Mercy Go! St. Louis Marathon. April. Formerly known as the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon, this event has been held every year since 2000.

PNC Bank Go! St. Louis Half Marathon — Held at the same day and time as the full marathon.

Cowbell Uncorked 100K Relay. Held every May in Augusta, MO, this off-road relay is a 15 mile drive west of St. Louis. Teams of five or two (a new option for 2016) run 62 miles, with three separate loops of 10K and two different 5K’s.

St. Louis Half Marathon. November. Held in November, this local independent race is hosted by the St. Louis Track Club. Starting and ending just outside the city, the course takes you into Forest Park, winding through small hills and trails. Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics.