SUP StL: Our Favorite Paddle Board Spots Around St. Louis

by Thomas & Mark Malkowicz

One of the things that drew us to stand-up paddle boarding was the fact that it was a new sport. Even before our boards arrived, we started researching places around St. Louis that would be interesting to paddle, and we noticed there wasn’t much information out there.

The most rewarding parts about our new hobby was that it gave us a reason to explore parts of our city that we had never been to, and look at familiar places in a new way.

Creve Coeur Lake 

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Mark & Tom paddling across Creve Coeur Lake. (iPhone photo)
Creve Coeur Lake sunsets almost never disappoint, and neither will the lake itself. This is a perfect place for beginners and paddle boards are available for rent during the summer. Take your pick of the the open water or meander the water trail at the south end of the lake.

Best Access: Beach next to the Taco Bell Pavilion

After Paddle Refreshments: Creve Coeur Lakehouse

 

Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary 

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Paddling towards the Clark Bridge on the Mississippi River. (iPhone photo)
The idea of being on a small stand-up paddle board on one of the country’s largest rivers can be intimidating, but the Riverland Migratory Bird Sanctuary offers a gentle introduction to the Mighty Mississippi. Located just cross the river from Alton, Ill., the sanctuary has an area of 3,700 acres — and a majority of it can be paddled.

Best Access: The beach just down the road from the visitors center.

After Paddle Refreshments: Fast Eddie’s Bon Air

 

Forest Park 

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The St. Louis Art Museum from the Grand Basin in Forest Park. (iPhone photo)
If you are from St.Louis, chances are you have admired Art Hill from the shores of the Grand Basin in Forest Park. Nothing beats seeing this place we know and love from a whole new perspective. Paddling around the two islands and out into the basin is an awesome after-work paddle.

Best Access: South of the Boathouse, under a large willow tree

After Paddle Refreshments: Boathouse Forest Park

 

Meramec River 

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All set up for a day of paddling and fishing on the Meramec River. (iPhone photo)
The people of St. Louis have a complicated  relationship with the waters of the Meramec River. If you’re brave enough to ignore all the negative attention and remember to respect the river, you will find a beautiful place to paddle and likely have it all to yourself. Paddling a few miles upstream can be a awesome workout, and the reward is a relaxing float back to the access point.

Access: Green Tree Park, Valley Park and Castlewood State Park

After Paddle Refreshments: T.J. Wings

Missouri River 

Paddling away from the Boat House. (GoPro)

A wilderness that is often overlooked runs through the middle of the St. Louis area. If you’re looking to connect with nature, history or the cities of St. Charles and St. Louis, there is no better place to paddle than the Missouri River. Just like any river, the wide, fast-moving waters have to be respected, so remember to stay safe and wear a life jacket.

Access: Blanchette Landing, Lewis & Clark Boat House and Weldon Springs CA

After Paddle Refreshments: Old Mill Stream Inn (this one is our favorite)

Special thanks to

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