Students hike the river view trail at Castlewood Park.

It should come as no surprise that, as medical students, we need to take every chance we can to get outside. After all the academics and sitting in front of computers for hours on end, there is nothing more satisfying than getting outdoors. For those that are into exercise, there’s a gym in Olin and tennis courts by the hospital. However, bikers are the luckiest of the bunch. Forest Park is right next door to campus and boasts a six-mile loop and plenty of roads to explore within its borders. There are historical bike paths all throughout St. Louis, so you can travel all the way downtown, back toward Clayton, and even farther out to the western suburbs if you so please. For climbing, St. Louis is either conveniently – or inconveniently – placed right between Red River Gorge (six-hour drive) and Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (five-hour drive). Red River Gorge is known primarily for its sport climbing, but it has a fair amount of traditional climbing as well. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is well known for its sport climbing as well as bouldering, but is also great for beginners. Unfortunately for hikers, you won’t really find much elevation in the Midwest, so sorry to the folks who have done their rounds on the Appalachian Trail, Rockies, or what have you. However, there are a good number of State Parks and campgrounds nearby. It may not be hilly trekking, but there’s still plenty of nature to see and appreciate in the area!

— William C., M1