Week 1 - Fort Belle Fontaine

Starting Location:  Fort Belle Fontaine, 13002 Bellefontaine Rd, St. Louis, MO 63138 

Parking: Every vehicle will need to stop at the main entrance and check in with the guard on duty before entering the park (there is no cost, simply sign in and they will give you a card - know your license plate number as they will record that). The trail head parking lot is on your left just down from the guard post. There will be limited parking there - ideally we can double up cars if those running long pull in first and then those going shorter or who need to leave park behind them. This could create at least 2 rows if not 3. Other parking can be found further down the paved road scattered around the park all with in a 1/4 of a mile from where we will start, then just meet us at the trail head lot. Please allow time to check in with the guard!

Run Description: SHORT COURSE = 2 loops / LONG COURSE = 3 loops
Please reference the trail map posted below. From the trail head parking lot both short and long course will run the 1st loop in a counter-clockwise fashion (this will be the main perimeter path around the park). It will start off making a left onto the paved road from the start, then keep right along the paved road, make another slight right off the paved road to a concrete/stone path into the woods. Follow this till you see a yellow gate and a TRAIL sign post with an arrow - turn right to now get on the gravel path. The goal is to do a mass group photo on the massive stone steps which is less than a mile into the run, so we will gather up there for a main photo if possible. Continue on the gravel path past the old stone structures, and then when it starts to go up a hill we will make a right to stay flat. Follow this path around till you come to the top of a hill and another yellow gate, just after that you will rejoin an open gravel road, make a sharp right turn. Take this gravel road all the way back to the starting point to complete the 1st loop - roughly 2.6 miles or so. The 2nd loop will start the same as the first, only after you head out from the start, stay to the left (run this one clockwise) on the paved road at the split and just keep following that around the buildings till it dead ends - you will see the access to the trail on your right, turn there and head down the hill and stay right at the bottom, you will now be running in reverse passing back by all the stone buildings you saw in that first mile. Run that first mile in reverse now back to the start. This is just shy of 4.5 miles worth. This concludes the short course loop.

Those running the long course will go back out for a 3rd loop, running clockwise from the starting point head out along the gravel road and make the very first left onto the open grass path that hugs the treeline. You will take this around the field and keep straight when you come to any intersections till it spits you back onto the gravel road, keep left and when you come to where the park bench is make the sharp left turn to go through the yellow gate and head down the hill on the trail. You will be running the rest of this loop the reverse of that first loop. Comes out to around 7.2 miles worth.



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