Category Archives: Outdoor Fun

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: Carondelet Park

I belong to a Meetup group called Let’s Hike and recently we went for a group walk at Carondelet Park, the third largest park in the City of St. Louis. The Village of Carondelet was founded in 1767 and was incorporated into the city of St. Louis in 1870. Carondelet Park was dedicated on July 4, 1876. To get to the Park from Route 66 if you are traveling East to West, take Gravois through the South St. Louis area. Shortly after turning onto Chippewa, make a left turn on Morganford then another left on Holly Hills Blvd. On the way you’ll pass through the Bevo neighborhood with the famous and historic Bevo Mill and across the street from the park you’ll see some really unique and beautiful homes. This Route will take you a little bit off of Route 66 but you’ll get a look at some really authentic living neighborhoods that you won’t see anywhere else.

The most iconic feature in Carondelet Park is the Boathouse overlooking a popular fishing lake. There is another lake plus interesting walls and other stone constructions here and there. There are recreational amenities such as horseshoe pits, ball fields, a playground and nicely paved trail for pedestrians and cyclists circles all. It took our group one hour to circle the park twice on foot. Apparently this is also a great spot for birdwatching – check out these photos! If you walk toward the recreation center on the East side of the park and cross the railroad tracks, you will see a very attractive bridge to the north.

Carondelet Park is being linked to the Great Rivers Greenway system via the new River des Peres: Carondelet Connector. This should be complete very soon and when it’s done you’ll be able to get on your bike at Carondelet Park and take the the River Des Peres Greenway all the way to Route 66 at the intersection of Watson Road and River des Peres Blvd. – the round trip would be formidable but doable for experienced riders.

There are plans for improvements at Carondelet Park that sound very interesting, including something very intriguing to me personally, bird habitat development. Get news about what’s going on the park from the Friends of Carondelet Park Facebook page.

Fit and Healthy on Route 66 – Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park is located just off the Watson Road alignment of Route 66 in South St. Louis County. If you’re heading west, make a right turn on Geyer Road just before you reach Interstate 270 and you’ll see the park entrance shortly. If you’re looking for a place to pull of the road for a little while for a walk or a picnic, this park is ideal.

You can stroll on nature trails and open grassy areas while viewing a variety of outdoor sculpture. Bring the kids, because there are many art works that are meant to be climbed on or interacted with in some way, some designed specifically for younger visitors. Also bring your dogs – there is a series of six sculptures that is designed partly to make you think about the relationship between dogs and humans, and partly to provide an interactive activity area for dogs. There are even special sights and sounds to appeal to canine senses!

On a recent visit I spent about an hour and a half exploring the park on foot at a fairly leisurely pace and saw many but not all of the sculptures. I think Route 66 fans, who are usually partial to ruins, will especially enjoy “Pool Complex: Orchard Valley” by Mary Miss. This site-specific work consists of wood add-ons surrounding the ruins of a large swimming pool which incorporates the type of regional native rock work that Missouri Route 66 aficionados are so familiar with. See a short video about the work here. There is also a historic spring house in the park which is an unaltered example of the same type of beautiful stone construction.

See more of my photos of the park in this album.