Recreation in the Metro-East
Whether you want to cycle, run, paddle, hike, fish, golf, picnic, play tennis, shoot some hoops, or partake in some other outdoor recreation activity, you'll likely find that it's offered somewhere throughout the Metro-East! This page attempts to make you aware of all public recreational opportunities that exist throughout Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois. How? By directing you to facilities offered by the various municipalities, park districts, transit districts, and other organizations in the two county area that build, maintain, and operate these recreation amenities! These organizations, a.k.a. partners of MEPRD, deserve a BIG thank you for developing and maintaining these facilities for public recreation use!
Our suggestions/recommendations are as follows!
Where do we even start!!! As of 2017, there were 183 miles of Bike Trails, a.k.a. Shared Use Paths, located throughout the Metro-East, most of which are interconnected and asphalt! Numerous organizations and municipalities deserve credit for this vast trail system, but none more than Madison County Transit District and St. Clair County Transit District, both of which have made trails a top priority for the region!
Check out MEPRD's online Trail Map to see this existing network of trails. We've even provided a trail surface indicator layer, so you know what trails are asphalt and which are crushed limestone. In addition, you'll find parking, restroom and drinking fountain locations. Our favorite Trailhead is our own of course, where all cyclists are welcome! :) MEPRD's Trailhead is located at: 104 United Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234. Happy Cycling! Also, CLICK HERE to see MEPRD's "Where-To Guide" for Outdoor Activities in the Metro-East.
What surface do you prefer, because you're sure to find it in the Metro-East? If natural surface, try out the running trails at SIUE or one of many natural surface trails listed on MEPRD's online trail map. If you're looking for crushed rock, there are 51 miles of public walking/running trails found throughout the two-county area. If hard surface is what you're after, hit the pavement utilizing some of the 177 miles of shared use paths in the area! Be sure to use MEPRD's Trail Surface Indicator Layer so you know what trail surface to expect when you get there! It can be found on MEPRD's Online Trail Map. Also, CLICK HERE to see MEPRD's "Where-To Guide" for Outdoor Activities in the Metro-East.
Looking to be one with nature in the Metro-East? You're in luck! There are 48 miles of hiking/nature trails in the Metro-East. Some of our favorites include those located at Olin Nature Preserve, Horseshoe Lake State Park, Silver Lake Park, Stemler Cave Woods Nature Preserve, and Willoughby Farm. All of these hiking trails, along with many others can be found on MEPRD's Online Trail Map. Be sure to activate the map's Surface Indicator layer so you know what trail surface you can expect when you arrive. Also, CLICK HERE to see MEPRD's "Where-To Guide" for Outdoor Activities in the Metro-East.
Do you kayak, SUP, or have a boat? Although you won't find any whitewater in the Metro-East, there are still plenty of opportunities to be on water. Some of our favorites include parts of the Mississippi River and Kaskaskia River and tributaries of both, as well as Whispering Hollow Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Silver Lake, and Peabody River King lakes to name a few. These public waters, along with others can be found in MEPRD's Water Map. This map shows every body of water throughout the Metro-East that is open to the public for recreational use (use restrictions/rules may apply). Additionally, MEPRD's pARK Map shows every public Boat Ramp on these bodies of water. Also, CLICK HERE to see MEPRD's "Where-To Guide" for Outdoor Activities in the Metro-East.
See the suggested bodies of water listed within the "Paddling/Boating" section listed above, but also check out the fishing areas at Chouteau Island Recreation Area, Baldwin Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, and the plethora of public lakes and ponds situated within many of the 257 parks located in the Metro-East. See all these parks and bodies of water in MEPRD's Online PARK Map!
Looking for a park, playground, skate park, or swimming pool for the little ones, OR a place to play baseball, basketball, disc golf, football, golf, inline hockey, sand volleyball, soccer, tennis, etc.? MEPRD's Online Park Map shows you all 257 parks located throughout the Metro-East, as well as every amenity within those parks! Additionally, be sure to check out MEPRD's Park Directory which includes a text-based listing of every park in the Metro-East and every amenity you'll find within each of the parks.
By The Numbers as of 2017
Existing Trail Infrastructure
183 miles of Shared Use Paths
41 miles of “Signed” Shared Roads
15 miles of Bike Lanes
51 miles of Walking Trails
48 miles of Nature Trails
7 miles of dedicated Mountain Bike Trails (a.k.a. Single Track) at SIUE
Existing Park Infrastructure
27,195 Park Acreage
410 Baseball Fields
161 Tennis Courts
157 Soccer Fields
107 Outdoor Basketball Courts