Starting Location: 1401 Kiefer Creek Rd., Ballwin, MO
Parking Instructions: Meet at the parking lot by the playground and large open field on your left about 1/4 of a mile into the park. If this fills there are a few lots nearby that you can use and walk/jog over. Bathrooms may be limited so plan ahead. Start time is 7:30am.
Short course: ~6.6 miles (2 loops)
Medium course: ~10.5 miles (3 loops)
Long course: ~16 miles (4 loops)
See map below for visual. This will be our longest distance for all 3 courses so congratulations on making it! The first 3 loops will range from 3.3 to 3.9 miles in length so you will have plenty of opportunity to refuel if needed and change out of any winter gear if needed to warm up, and the final loop will be roughly 5.5 for those going long to close out the program and will provide a bit more rolling hills along the way.
To start with, everyone will run up to the top of the bluffs via the River Scene Trail (PINK line on map) - the view along the way up literally will take your breath away! Or the vertical climb, either way, it is a short but steep up hill, then we run along the bluffs heading towards the wooden stairs to go down. Once at the bottom hang the LEFT turn and follow that to where you can turn RIGHT into the wide open grassy area, and continue along the path close by the river, passing by the beach area and then once back on the main road hang a RIGHT to pass under the train tracks and back to the start. Loop 1 complete.
For the second loop, everyone will run this as well (BLUE line on map). From the parking lot head out along the road and cross over the creek, then turn LEFT onto the Grotpeter Trail (blue trail markings) and take this till you come to the Visitor Center. Here we will head up past the parking lot and cross over the road to hit the trail, and keep LEFT once on that trail to take it all the way up towards Ries Rd. This trail will have #2 trail markings along the way and is NOT the real rocky one. Once up at the top, cross Ries Rd to continue on the trail simply making every LEFT turn you can as it winds back down to the main road. On the map below, the trail marked as "Justin's Trail" will have #1 trail markings on it. Once back down at the bottom, cross over the road and take the first RIGHT you can make which brings you to the creek crossing! Once you've crossed the creek, you will be on the Lone Wolf Trail, hang a LEFT to follow this all the way back to the starting point (the creek will be on your left all the way back to the start). Short course is done!
The third loop (MAROON line) is for those running medium and long. You start running reverse of that first loop, so from the parking lot follow the road to go under the train tracks, then LEFT onto the trail and take the River Scene trail all the way around till you come to the wooden stairs. Go up this time and eventually you will make the LEFT turn to jump on the Lone Wolf trail and take this down towards the creek crossing but DON'T cross it! Instead simply stay RIGHT and finish up the same way you did loop 2. Medium course is done!
Those going long will have one final loop so be sure to refuel anything as it will be a bit longer than the previous loops. To start head out the same as you did for loop 2, only this time once you come to Ries Rd DON'T cross this time, instead make the sharp RIGHT turn to follow the Grotpeter Trail (blue trail markings). Follow this till you come to the 4-way intersection, turn LEFT to now follow the Rollercoaster Trail. The next big 4-way trail junction stay LEFT as you head down the long hill. At the bottom you will come to a set of stairs on your RIGHT - turn here to take this short connector back up (#5 trail markings). This puts you back at 4-way junction...keep LEFT to jump on trail #4. This takes back to your other 4-way intersection where you first got on the Rollercoaster Trail, this time turn LEFT to take the connector trail to the Visitor Center, trail marked with #3 (labeled below as "Midway/Office Connector"). Take this trail down and hang a LEFT at the bottom to head across the road and cut through the parking lot to rejoin the trail, then turn LEFT and run that back to the parking lot. Long course is done!