Story Highlights:

  • Terrain Magazine recognizes best people, businesses, and activities in the
    St. Louis outdoors

Terrain Magazine, the definitive guide to outdoor recreation, adventure, and culture in St. Louis, today announced that it has published its Readers’ Choice Awards in its January/February 2021 edition, marking the third year of the awards.

Terrain’s annual Readers’ Choice is a chance for readers to share what they love about the St. Louis outdoors — from retail stores, to parks and trails, to athletes and personalities — and to recognize those who are building, supporting, and serving the outdoor community in our area.

With the impact of COVID-19, the Terrain Readers’ Choice Awards are more important than ever, as they draw attention to the opportunities for St. Louisans to experience nature and outdoor sports, which are proven to have numerous benefits on physical and mental health. The voting process is not only great exposure for the winners and runners-up, but the nomination period gives all local people, places, and businesses increased visibility across thousands of readers who rely on Terrain in print and online.

Terrain’s latest Readers’ Choice Awards recognize the impact of the pandemic on St. Louis’ businesses and live outdoor events and bring much needed attention to those that are excelling in their specialty. Acknowledging the nuances of 2020, Terrain added new categories to reflect the ways life has changed during COVID-19, including Best Park for Escaping Crowds, Best Virtual Event, and Best Outdoor Activity for Riding Out the Pandemic.

“2020 has been pivotal for our outdoor community, with social distancing enforced and countless events canceled, but also with many St. Louisans discovering or re-discovering the outdoors. It didn’t seem right to hold our awards as usual,” said Brad Kovach, editor/publisher of Terrain. “We removed categories and added new ones to capture the changing ways people are interacting with our outdoors. We have categories recognizing the people and organizations who did a great job at keeping the outdoors open, and we also asked people to tell us what they look forward to doing once things look more ‘normal’. Terrain has been the voice of the regional outdoors since 2014, and our Readers’ Choice Awards are a way of celebrating our readers and their favorite people, places, and businesses.”

Winners largely consist of independent businesses and local nonprofit organizations, showcasing how these entities build vitality and economy in St. Louis. Although Terrain has added new categories over the years, its readers’ tastes can be consistent. Therefore, the magazine added a Readers’ Choice Hall of Fame this year to salute those who have won their respective categories for three consecutive years. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame solidifies each vote-getter’s place as a perennial favorite in the local outdoors and allows Terrain to shine a light on other worthy winners.

The January/February 2021 issue of Terrain featuring its latest Readers’ Choice Awards will be released on December 21, 2020 both online and at 200 locations across St. Louis and the Midwest. Find a list of distribution spots here.

The 2021 Terrain Readers’ Choice winners and runners-up are:

Current Affairs

Best Park for Escaping Crowds
Winner: Greensfelder County Park
Runners-up: Forest Park, Don Robinson State Park, West Tyson County Park

Best Virtual Event of 2020
Winner: Gateway to the Great Outdoors – Cabin Fever
Runners-up: Run the Missouri, Pedal the Cause, Gateway Resilience Run & Ride

Event You Can’t Wait to Return in 2021
Winner: Gateway Cup
Runners-up: GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend, Moonlight Ramble, Trailnet Bicycle Fun Club Rides

Best Addition to the Regional Outdoors in 2020
Winner: Eureka Mountain Bike Park
Runners-up: Gravois Greenway Extension, St. Charles Youth Activity Park Pump Track, Bluff View/Zombie Trail Improvements

Outdoor Activity You Missed Most in 2020
Winner: Races
Runners-up: Group Runs/Rides, Concerts/Festivals, Professional Sports

Best Outdoor Activity for Riding Out the Pandemic
Winner: Cycling
Runners-up: Mountain Biking, Hiking, Running


Best Regional Park (City/County)
Winner: Greensfelder County Park
Runners-up: Tower Grove Park, Cliff Cave County Park, Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park
Hall of Fame: Forest Park

Best Regional Park (National/State)
Winner: Hawn State Park
Runners-up: Mark Twain National Forest, Echo Bluff State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park
Hall of Fame: Castlewood State Park

Best Greenway/Hard Surface Trail
Winner: Gravois Greenway
Runners-up: Katy Trail State Park, Madison County Transit (MCT) Trails, Meramec Greenway

Best Hiking/Trail Running Trail
Winner: Rockwoods Reservation
Runners-up: Lewis & Clark Trail, Bluff View/Zombie Trail, Castlewood State Park

Best Mountain Biking Trail
Winner: Greensfelder County Park
Runners-up: Castlewood State Park, Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, Cliff Cave County Park
Hall of Fame: Bluff View/Zombie Trail

Best Campground
Winner: Hawn State Park
Runners-up: Council Bluff Recreation Area, Mark Twain National Forest, Echo Bluff State Park

Best Paddling Spot
Winner: Current River
Runners-up: Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, Meramec River, Missouri River

Best Rock Climbing Area
Winner: Robinson Bluff
Runners-up: Elephant Rocks State Park, Pere Marquette State Park, Giant City State Park
Hall of Fame: Jackson Falls

Best Outdoor Road Trip
Winner: Missouri Ozarks
Runners-up: Branson, Missouri; Johnson Shut-Ins State Park; Northern Wisconsin
Hall of Fame: Bentonville, Arkansas


Best Outdoor Guide/Instructor/Coach
Winner: Jay Thomas (Roots MTB)
Runners-up: Nadav Sprague (Gateway to the Great Outdoors), Cody Jones (Wheels Up), Bob Dyer (Running Niche)

Best Regional Outdoor Athlete
Winner: Julia Kohnen
Runners-up: Omar Abdi, Christian Hon, Laura Scherff

Best Outdoor Store Employee
Winner: Angie Bono (Alpine Shop)
Runners-up: Joey Russell (Take A Hike Shop), Mike Weiss (Big Shark Bicycle Company), Ron Clip (The Hub Bicycle Company)

Best Regional Environmentalist/Conservationist
Winner: Jean Ponzi (KDHX Earthworms)
Runners-up: Nadav Spraque (Gateway to the Great Outdoors), Cindy Mense (Trailnet), Glen Myer (Gateway Off-Road Cyclists)

Best Sports Doctor/Physical Therapist
Winner: Lauren Huckstep (Athletico Physical Therapy)
Runners-up: Lauren Hendrix (West County Spine & Joint), Taylor Bushnell (Peak Sport & Spine), Tom Nuzum (TheraPlus)

Best Regional Outdoor Photographer
Winner: Alex Noguera (Alex Noguera Photography)
Runners-up: Marcus Janzow (Janzow Photography), Dan Singer (Dan Singer Photography), Russell Ward (Fourth City Photography)

Best Social Media Follow
Winner: OneMTB (YouTube)
Runners-up: Terrain Magazine (Facebook/Instagram/YouTube), STL Mountain Bikers (Facebook), Backyard Trail Builds (YouTube/Instagram)


Best Running Store
Winner: Running Niche
Runners-up: Fleet Feet Sports (St. Charles), Big River Running Company (South City), Fleet Feet Sports (South County)
Hall of Fame: Big River Running Company (West County)

Best Bike Shop
Winner: Take A Hike Shop
Runners-up: The Hub Bicycle Company, Pedego St. Louis, Big Shark Bicycle Company (Chesterfield)

Best Outdoor Store
Winner: REI St. Louis
Runners-up: Take A Hike Shop, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bike Stop Outpost
Hall of Fame: Alpine Shop (Kirkwood)

Best Rock Climbing Gym
Winner: Upper Limits (St. Louis)
Runners-up: Climb So iLL (St. Louis), Climb So iLL (St. Charles), Upper Limits (Maryland Heights)

Best Paddling Operator
Winner: Big Muddy Adventure
Runners-up: Bass’ River Resort, Paddle Stop New Haven, Huzzah Valley Resort

Best Fly-Fishing Outfitter
Winner: Feather-Craft Fly Fishing
Runners-up:  Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Alpine Shop
Hall of Fame: T. Hargrove Fly Fishing

Best Outdoor Program/Summer Camp
Winner: St. Louis Mountain Bike Camps
Runners-up: Wheels Up, Missouri River Academy, Camp Taum Sauk

Best Outdoor Nonprofit Organization
Winner: Trailnet
Runners-up: Gateway to the Great Outdoors, Gateway Off-Road Cyclists, Great Rivers Greenway