As St. Louisans, when we think about things to do in the summer, our minds inevitably drift to pool noodles and park pavilions. We think about firing up the grill and lining up at Ted Drewes. But who among us dreams of tacking and jibing on a dinghy in strong wind? I'm talking about SAILING.
Yes, you can sail in (and near) St. Louis. Amid several scenic hiking trails sits a 320 acre lake at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are available to rent at the lake. Sailboats are also allowed on the lake where the Creve Coeur Sailing Association offers sailing lessons and holds their annual races. (Next race is June 4th). Don't have a sailboat? Be part of a crew on racing days and gain experience without buying a boat.
Lake Carlyle is another sailing spot near St. Louis. Located in Clinton County, IL, the lake is roughly an hour and a half drive from St. Louis. The Carlyle Sailing Association website offers a wealth of sailing information including weather, lake levels, and more basic information on how to get into sailing. Saturday, July 1 is Try Sailing Day on the lake. From 10AM to 3PM, sailors will be available to answer questions about sailing and, weather permitting, some skippers will offer boat rides.. FREE!
Before you go lowering the spinnaker, check out the library's selection of books on sailing and other water sports to equip yourself with the basics (and learn some pretty nifty lingo).