Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri, is considered one of the nation’s greatest urban public parks. The Park’s 1,300 acres feature beautiful landscapes sprinkled with forests, ecosystems, nature reserves, lakes and streams, as well as five of the region’s major cultural institutions and endless opportunities for recreation. Forest Park attracts 13 million visitors each year, making it the sixth most visited urban park in the United States. In 2016, Forest Park was voted the #1 City Park in the country by readers of USA Today.
Who owns, operates and takes care of Forest Park?
Forest Park is owned and operated by the City of St. Louis. Forest Park Forever partners with the City of St. Louis to provide landscaping, maintenance, operations, education, visitor services and capital project management for Forest Park. This public-private partnership is now a national model.
Does Forest Park have closing hours?
Yes. The Park is closed from 10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m.
Is the Park patrolled by security?
Yes. The Park is patrolled by the St. Louis Police Department and by Park Rangers.
Who do I contact about gaining a permit for an event?
This is the best page to start with. In general, for Forest Park permits, including weddings, picnic pavilions, Jewel Box, World's Fair Pavilion and Cabanne House rentals, athletic field reservations and special events, you'll want to call the Parks Department at 314.289.5300.
Is there a Lost & Found?
Items are occasionally returned to the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center (5595 Grand Drive). Please call us at 314.367.7275.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes. Per City Ordinance, pets are required to be on leashes.
Is fishing allowed in Forest Park?
Fishing is permitted in the lakes and lagoons in Forest Park, except where restrictions are posted. A valid Missouri fishing license is required. Fishing is not permitted in the Fish Hatchery, except through programs administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Are walkers and runners allowed to be on the asphalt path?
Yes. The Dual Path's Heels & Wheels distinction is a guideline only, and people are free to use either the asphalt or chat paths as they wish. All visitors are encouraged to be respectful and responsible as they share the path. As a pedestrian, please be aware that cyclists, rollerbladers and runners may pass on your left – walking single file will help make room for everyone.
Are there bike rentals?
Yes! City Cycling Tours offers a full service rental and tour service from the Visitor Center east and west lots. For more self-directed bike rentals, both LimeBike and ofo operate in the City of St. Louis and both options can be found around Forest Park. For more information about these dockless options and St. Louis Bike Share, please visit stlbikeshare.org.
Can I fly a drone in Forest Park?
If you are interested in flying a drone in Forest Park, you must first obtain a letter of approval from the FAA. Secondly, you will need to make application to the Board of Public Service (Secretary's Office in Room 300 City Hall) for a BPS Permit. With your application, you will need to submit a copy of your letter of approval from the FAA. Contact the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry at 314.289.5300 with additional questions.
Can I bring my own boat or kayak?
No, Park visitors are not allowed to bring their own boats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc. into or on any park waterways or lakes.
Is swimming allowed?
No, swimming is not allowed anywhere in Forest Park.
Is ice-skating allowed on frozen bodies of water in the Park?
No, this is not allowed. We suggest paying a visit to Steinberg Skating Rink during their open season (mid-November through March 1).
How about sledding?
Winter sledding is permitted (and greatly enjoyed) on Art Hill, unless restrictions are posted.
Are there designated parking areas for buses with proper permits?
Yes, there are four. You can view a map of them here.
Looking for a downloadable PDF map?
Here you go!