Depending on whom you ask, the Al Foster Memorial Trail is anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 miles long. For the purposes of this honor, we're going with the Meramec Greenway's version, which pegs the 2.5-mile stretch of trail between the Sherman Beach Trailhead and the Glencoe Trailhead (off Highway 109 in Wildwood). There's a reason local cross-country coaches bring their teams here to train. After a slight incline through the first half-mile along the north bank of the Meramec River, the trail's forgiving packed-stone surface, which runs along an abandoned railroad route, is virtually pancake flat as you wend your way west amid the dense riverside canopy. Markers helpfully placed at quarter-mile intervals make it easy to achieve any out-and-back mileage you desire. Perhaps better still, with only one road crossing, a run on Al Foster is virtually auto-free. One cautionary note: Keep your eyes open at dusk. As it's also one of the more remote places to run in St. Louis, you'll see critters you want to see (like wild turkeys and deer), along with some you might not (like snakes).
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