Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Springfield with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A big loop with some off-set trails. Its good for the casual walker.

I’m partial to this trail as I live about 6 miles from it. It’s mostly flat and is well kept. Great for jogging, walking or biking.

This is a nice trail not far from Springfield, MO, mostly in the woods and around a lake, gentle ups and downs, by a natural spring and through a corner of wetlands. Be sure to include the short stretch along the creek which is on a paved path. Many cardinals giving their calls. Nice hike in the summer in the early evening when it is not so hot.

For being on the edge of town this is a great place to go! We’ve seen numerous deer and turkey! We love this Nature Center!!! They have made upgrades to the trails with gravel and just adding more beauty to the area.

Great for an afternoon nature walk. One we will definitely walk again.

Pretty trail and better than I imagined. Will do this again.

What a gem of a trail! The nature center is a must stop before heading out on the trail and has several interesting exhibits on the Missouri outdoors. The trail is a stop on the Great Missouri Birding Trail and didn’t disappoint as the trail passes through several habitats each abundant with different bird species. The highlight of the several bird species spotted was a Mississippi Kite. The trail is well maintained and marked. A beautiful Broadhead Skink with a bright orange-reddish head sat next to the trail and allowed us to view him for several minutes. I will definitely do this trail again.

I have hiked this trail my entire life and it only gets more beautiful! It’s quite the workout too! If you aren’t used to it, you will be sore the next day!

We took our 5 kids here today. We had a blast. They have a little packet for kids to find things as you hike. They have so much on the side of educational. We did the long trail which is about an hour the trail is well maintained and also guides came through as we walked and handed out stickers to the kids. They have places to stop and look in the water and play. We will for sure be going back. We loved it.

3 months ago

Very nice trail, although heavily populated in areas. Be aware if you take this trail, there are multiple runners, walkers, and bikers that use this along with families.

This is a nice, short but scenic trail that is perfect if you are looking for a quick walk. We saw deer and ducks during our walk There wasn't too much traffic on the trail. Trail was easy to follow. Would definitely come back.

Pretty good trail just for fun. Nothing too difficult!

Short little jaunt around the nature center grounds with a view of Lake Springfield. There are convenient on-site bathrooms, plenty of parking, and the nature center itself for those interested. This place is a hidden treasure at the south end of Springfield.

I really enjoyed this trail!

Nice walk with the family... Keep an eye out for turkeys, and deer...

Easy hike.

Cute trail that's close by. Great for an after work lazy walk or jog

Close to the city. Variety of trails - some fully paved and short, others longer with more varied terrain. Can be very busy on weekends when the weather is nice.

great trails.

Such a beautiful area! Loved going with the kiddos!

This is one of my favorite local trails. around to the spring with the deck overlooking it, to the lake overlook. There are a couple of study stations and in the past year they have done a lot of trail work. You will enjoy it. DO IT!!!

Horrible..the people working there were very very rude.

Excellent for bird watching! I will be back.

Pretty good train other than being a bit rundown in areas.

road biking
8 months ago

The first 8-9 miles starting from Springfield until you reach the far end of Willard are paved and well maintained. The trail is then crushed stone for several miles and decently maintained but then gives way to varying degrees of upkeep. Sometimes it's down to a single, very narrow dirt path. Some areas they dumped large gravel unsuitable for any kind of traffic in my opinion. Some areas the trees, shrubs and grass are overtaking the trail. Spiders and their webs stretching across the trail can be so abundant, you'll be stopping every few mintues to wipe all the spiders and webs from yourself and bike. Once freezing weather hits, the spiders will not be an issue. The last 5-6 miles are paved again.
There's plenty of shade along most of the trail with a few short open stretches with none.
Of course its pretty flat being an old rail line.
There's not much in the way of scenery, wildlife or historical sites.
There's more foot and bike traffic from Springfield through Willard due to its proximity to more populated areas and being paved. Not that it's terribly busy but If you want less traffic, avoid this section.

10 months ago

Definitely a good trail for biking or walking. Not so much for hiking as it is a flat terrain.

11 months ago

paved trail, more of a Super Highway for Hiking. lots of Bikes. Still a great walk with shade from the heat.

Nice scenic trail to hop on for a quick relaxing hike without going far from town.

Nice bike ride from Springfield to Willard. plenty of shade along the way.

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