Tower Grove Park is idyllic for social gatherings and bird watching.
Exercise Friendly: 6/10 Family Friendly: 9/10
Special Features: Rentable Pavilions and Birdwatching
Last weekend, it was a particularly dreary Saturday and I decided that getting out of my apartment would help me to be more productive. So, I looked up cafes in the area and found one in the Tower Grove Area. Thanks to Google Maps, I discovered that there is a park in Tower Grove. I had no excuse but to throw my running clothes in my backpack in preparation to go for a jog as a reward for a long day of sitting and studying. Post-studying workouts can be some of my best workouts because sitting makes me stiff and restless, and my body seems to thank me for the exercise with extra energy and endorphins.
Anyhow, I entered the park on foot at a random spot closest to where my car was parked, which led me through a soggier-than-expected ditch and to a path laden with puddles. But the terrain was not going to deter me from exploring, so I set off in a counterclockwise direction on the path. To my annoyance, the limestone path is not a complete circle. It ends at park roads which cars drive on and then picks up again at a random places on the road. To make a complete circle and not be distracted by changing terrain, it is necessary to run on the park roads and share it with the cars. Luckily there are not many cars driving on those roads. However, it would be unlikely that I return there for a relaxed run because of my issue with the layout of the paths.
From a look at the Tower Grove Park Website, I learned a little bit more about what it has to offer. First, it has an abundance of ball fields available for public use or reservation: twelve tennis courts, six corkball fields, ten softball fields, three baseball fields, and six baseball fields. There is a clubhouse, pro-shop, and locker rooms for tennis players. There are often tournaments, leagues, and clinics held in the courts.
There are two playgrounds, a children’s fountain, and a wading pool open during summer months. There are horseshoe pits for public use or paid reservation at a rate of $10 for 90 minutes. Also, sometimes organized runs and walks are held in the park.
Apparently the park has many birds that are of interest to the birding community. Over 200 species are on the park list. There is a “wild bird garden” in the corner of the park, and it is a hotspot for wild bird spotting. Warblers and Thrushes are two species that are easy to find in the park. Next time I go there, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for some birds.
There are many pavilions and a couple of buildings in the park. The main gazebo is called the Music Stand. It is where weddings are held. In fact, I saw a wedding taking place in the Music Stand during my run.
Another building is a renovated greenhouse called the Piper Palm House. Yoga is even offered in this building now. It costs $60 for a six week session package or $12 to drop in for a single class. And the third building is called the Stupp Center. It has a lounge inside and is adjacent to an amphitheater and garden.
So, whether you seek to take a tennis or yoga class, have a leisurely stroll, or to get a group of friends together for a picnic, Tower Grove Park has a lot to offer.