As the weather warms and summer arrives in the Ozarks, it is the perfect time to enjoy some of the many scenic and enjoyable trails here in town. Springfield boasts over 100 miles of trails built, maintained, and operated in partnership between Springfield-Greene County Park Board & Ozark Greenways, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a trail system that connects and enhances the community, since 1991. Whether you are a seasoned runner, new to the hobby, or just looking for a fun day to go for a stroll, Springfield and the surrounding area have you covered.
In the Downtown area, Jordan Creek Greenway trail offers an easy path through–not one–but three parks. Beginning at beautiful Jordan Valley Park, which features artwork that is a part of Sculpture Walk Springfield and beautiful fountains, the trail runs north to historic Silver Springs Park, home of the cultural landmark Timmons Hall, before ending at Smith Park in Midtown.
If you are looking for a longer run, check out Galloway Creek Greenway trail in southeast Springfield. This scenic route takes you through some of the most beautiful spots in town, running through Sequiota Park and past the pet cemetery, many sculptures, and the many charming restaurants and shops of Galloway Village. The trail, which was the first in Missouri to be designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service in 2003, also connects to the James River Greenway trail, more rugged Nature Center trails, and James River Water Trail, an ideal spot for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
Runners, walkers, and bikers alike also enjoy the 35-mile Frisco Highline Trail, which connects Springfield and Bolivar. Built on the old Frisco railroad line, the wheels of locomotives have been replaced by bicycle wheels on this historic path. Interpretive signs tell the story of two bank robbers escaping along the railroad in 1908 six miles in, where you can also find delis, pizzerias, and cafes to relax. Continue to enjoy more historic spots, gorgeous meadows, and unique bridges with stunning views. The Frisco Highline Trail is perfect for training for long runs and cycling.
When using trails, remember to always practice trail etiquette and safety. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset, and dogs require leashes. Remember to always scoop the poop for canine companions as well. Share the trail – give others space and announce yourself if you feel the need to pass. Land around the trails might not be public, so stay on the trail, and always hydrate, especially on a hot day.