On Sunday, October 12th, Jen, Katie and I took a ride on the Riverfront Trail, which links downtown St. Louis with the Great River Road in Illinois. This also checks another one off of the STL 101 list:
42. Your bike on the Riverfront Trail, from the Arch leading up to—and across—the Chain of Rocks Bridge, stopping midriver to admire the architecture of the two water intake towers originally used to supply the 1904 World’s Fair with one of its marvels: “crystal clear” drinking water.
We started at the trailhead just north of Laclede’s Landing:
The first thing you see is the old UE plant. Totally awesome:
There was a slight detour at the beginning of the trail to allow for construction, but we found the trail pretty easily and were on our way. Now, I had ridden this before, and the improvements to the trail in the two years since are really noticeable. The new signage is a great example of the improvements:
The only downside to the trail is that a large portion of the trail that bent underneath some train tracks was washed out. This is what it used to look like:
And this is the same area from the other direction, looking back toward the railroad trestle:
So the trail was technically closed there, but we were able to walk our bikes over the tracks and around the washout, so no big deal.
After riding through a much improved Blase Park (did this used to be called Riverfront Park?) and the hilly section on the west side of Riverview Drive in the overgrown and somewhat sketchy Chain of Rocks Park (which, I swear, I was told lead up to an old abandoned amusement park, so I did some quick googling and lo and behold. The internet is awesome.) we made it to the Chain of Rocks Bridge.
From the bridge, you can see the Chain of Rocks, and downtown St. Louis in the distance:
We picnicked on the bridge:
And took some photos:
You can see the rest on Flickr. Once we finished our snack, we headed back downtown. It was a fun ride, and a great excuse to get over the mighty Mississippi. Highly recommended.