By Alex Neupert, Sports Editor

This week in ‘Alternative Sports’ we will talk about an athletic activity that many people young and old enjoy, especially in a city such as St. Louis, which has many trails and paths for it. While there is no doubt that the majority of you have ridden a bike before, this guide to a greater appreciation of the ‘sport’ of bicycling will hopefully provide some insight on locations in the area to enjoy your outdoor excursions.

One of the major biking trails in the area passes through the former state capital of St. Charles, just across the Missouri River. The Katy Trail runs for over 200 miles and serves cyclists, joggers, and hikers year-round from sunrise to sunset. It passes through wine country on its way to Jefferson City and beyond and is an extremely popular route for biking, winding through beautiful vistas on a path close to the river.

The Katy Trail connects to another prominent locale for exercise and fun in Creve Coeur Lake, located in Maryland Heights. In the state park are several trails around the lake that part and rejoin at different spots. The area is a very scenic and peaceful cycling route when the weather behaves and the sun glistens off the lake. There is an area that branches off, however, which is used by pedestrians only. One trail on the southern side branches off to join Highway 364 to cross over the Missouri and join the aforementioned Katy Trail.

Forest Park, along with playing host to tourist attractions such as the St. Louis Art Museum and St. Louis Zoo, also has a six-mile main bike path utilized by many of the city’s residents. Much like those already touched on, the 1300-acre urban oasis provides users of the trail with many beautiful vistas to take in while on a relaxing ride. One section of the trail travels through the lovely wooded area designated as John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest.

Finally, the Chain of Rocks Bridge is the centerpiece of the Confluence Greenway, a network of trails in the combined area of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, both in Missouri and Illinois. This is the only truly bicycle-friendly crossing of the Mississippi River within several hundred miles. In addition to biking across one of the greatest rivers in the world, on weekends you can find vendors ready to greet you with fresh produce and snacks as you make your way onto the bridge.

There are certainly many more paths and trails to bike throughout the St. Louis region. Many are connected throughout the city by other paths and bicycle-friendly roads. No matter which you choose, it is clear that biking in St. Louis can be a fun time for all to really enjoy the outdoors.