Operating out of the historic Defiance general store built around 1898, Katy Bike Rental's owners Todd and Robin White showcase their pride in local heritage as they equip visitors for voyages down the Katy Trail State Park. Originally the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the line has since been converted into a state park whose calm gravel trail winds through lush forest alongside the Missouri River. Cyclists set out aboard the store's fleet of hybrid mountain bikes, tandem bikes, or comfort cruisers, each with optional attachments such as child carts to tow kids. They then pedal past old railroad signals and between man-made stone walls, and follow cliffs running along the river. Additionally, Todd organizes events along the trail, such as wine and movie nights, at local wineries and breweries or, when it’s a flannel kind of day, log-rolling contests with local lumberjacks.
Ellen of Ellen Baehr Equestrian has been interacting with horses for as long as she’s been able to walk like them. As the training force behind her namesake business, Baehr began riding and competing at the tender age of 4. In the decades since, she’s sat in the saddle for thousands of hunts and jumps—experience that she now applies during lessons on the 31-acre plot that comprises Gold Farm.
Baehr’s approach is simple and sincere: for every lesson—regardless of the student’s age or ability—she encourages riders to play the role of teammate to their horse. In doing so, riders often experience meaningful improvement that can prepare them for both serious competitions or casual rides past the drive-thru windows of nearby fast-food restaurants.
The Stallion and The Colt are the two courses at Crescent Farm Golf Club, the former being an 18-hole titan that spans more than 7,000 yards, and the latter a 9-hole, par-30 executive course. At The Stallion, golfers test their meddle amid heavily wooded areas, native grasses, and a dozen water hazards. The course's signature hole?the par-three eighth?features a tee shot that must clear a tree-lined pond. The architect behind the main course must have had a flair for the dramatic, as both nines close with the course's two most-difficult holes.
At The Colt course, small greens make approach shots a challenge, compensating for the modest length of certain holes. But while the two layouts offer different golfing experiences, they both weave through gently rolling terrain that makes walking or pushing a cart full of bunker sand across either course a breeze.
Named Best Golf Course by CrossRoadsNews readers in the 2010 Best of East Metro Readers Choice Awards, Sugar Creek Golf Course challenges seasoned and novice shooters to navigate more than 6,200 yards of manicured countryside. Hop into Sugar Creek's inclusive golf cart with your best friend, dad, or best friend's dad to explore the publicly owned, par-71 course, which dares dimple dabblers to dodge its low-slung bunkers and master the movement of well-kept greens. Guests can also feel free to give skills a quick polish at the course's practice bunker and putting greens. Once iron-swingers have sufficiently conquered Sugar Creek's fairways and snorkeled its water hazards, they may end links journeys at the full-service clubhouse or in the retail realm of the Sugar Creek pro shop.
Fashioned by the minds behind the Eureka Butcher and enhanced by Missouri's distinct geological makeup, Terror Cave plunges guests into one of the world's largest subterranean spook-fests. Groups navigate through 55,000 square feet that make up a natural underground cave, sliding feet along uneven terrain and dodging the fissure's undead denizens. Like most early airplane models, the ecological attraction has no doors or windows, thereby preventing foolhardy escape attempts. Terror Cave recommends that small children, expectant mothers, and overly jumpy wallabies avoid its cavernous haunts, which go on grotto-patrol Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight.
In 1898—the same year Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium and composer George Gershwin was born—the Wyman Center opened its doors. Founded in St. Louis by a group of citizens intent upon granting the city’s children a respite from the often sweltering tenements, the organization’s first programs were designed to furnish participants with fresh air, healthy food, and fun-filled outdoor activities. Though the world has changed radically since the Wyman Center’s inception, it continues to uphold and expand upon its founders' original mission of providing teens from disadvantaged circumstances with opportunities, support, and educational programs.
Today, powered by a dedicated staff of community leaders and volunteers, the Wyman Center’s numerous initiatives revolve around leadership and outreach programs. Amidst 250 acres of sylvan land, the Eureka campus serves as a base for outdoor education programs available to a variety of organizations from educational camps to team building retreats. Under the watchful eyes of supportive staffers and any fruit bats flying overhead, outdoor adventurers can tackle challenges afforded by ziplines, climbing walls, and orienteering activities. Along with skill-building programs, a variety of getaway packages invite groups to revel in the alfresco amenities of the Eureka campus while celebrating birthdays, weddings, or family reunions.