30 Outdoor Adventures In 30 Days

Experience the outdoors of the Ozarks
35b41efb 8c30 44e9 836c 0a815ed0a468 madison+russell sr 1990 Written by Madison Russell on July 09, 2020.

If you've missed our 30 Outdoor Adventures in 30 Days series or looking for a new activity to do outside, here are 30 outdoor adventures you can do in 30 days.

The Trail of Honor

In 2017, a new section of the James River Greenway was opened called the Trail of Honor. The one-mile trail meanders along the banks of the beautiful James River and the edge of the Missouri Veteran’s Cemetery.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

The 207-acre farm park is designed to provide educational, as well as various recreational resources for the community and celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the area. The park includes an animal barn, visitor's center, gift shop, farm-themed playground, demonstration crops and gardens, 20-acre native prairie, pasture land, one-mile paved trail along Wilson's Creek Greenway, and Wilson's Creek. Guests can meet fun farm animals and take a walk around the farm with a great view.

Jordan Valley Park

⁠Jordan Valley Park, located in the heart of Springfield at 635 East Trafficway, is an urban meadow vast enough to find places for solitude and places to socialize.⁠

⁠Growing from the collective vision of more than 300 citizens, this community gathering place was designed with a mixture of open spaces, buildings, water, meadows, playgrounds and plazas. The park includes Jordan Valley Ice Park, the Creamery Arts Center and the Jordan Valley Maintenance Office.⁠

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📸: @brittneybywater 

Nathaneal Greene Park

⁠The 113-acre Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is home to Springfield Botanical Gardens that features dozens of themed gardens, including hosta, daylilies, Asiatic lilies, iris, peonies, roses, dwarf conifers, ornamental grasses, native plants and more. The park also includes the Dr. Bill K. Roston Native Butterfly House, Gray-Campbell Farmstead, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden and Lake Drummond. The park connects to South Creek Greenway and includes several other paved walking trails.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden

The oldest attraction at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, the 7.5 acre, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll garden was created in 1985 and includes a large koi lake, moon bridge, meditation garden, tea house and traditional Japanese garden landscaping. Guests can stroll through the themed gardens and stop to smell the flowers or have a picnic.

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, located near Republic, Missouri, preserves the site of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Fought on August 10, 1861, the battle was the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River. During the spring and summer months you can find guests wandering the trails or watching some of the live concerts put on during June and July.

Dickerson Park Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo is located on the north side of Springfield and is home to more than 500 animals that represent 160 different species. Take some photos with some of the many murals located across the park, feed the giraffes, or spot one of the many peacocks roaming freely across the zoo.

Dunnegan Memorial Park

Located in Bolivar, Missouri, Dunnegan Memorial Park is home to an array of walking trails and a large pond home to swans, ducks, geese, and the occasional peacock roaming the park. Visitors are in for a treat in the fall when all the trees burst into color.⁠

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📸: @renegade74girl

Lake Taneycomo

⁠Lake Taneycomo is a man-made lake or reservoir on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri. In the early morning hours you can find fishermen and boaters of all ages casting their lines out into the water in hopes of bringing in the catch of the century. 

Fassnight Park

⁠Fassnight Park is one of Springfield's Ten Historic Parks, dating back to 1924. During the summer, families can take a dip in Fassnight Pool, the first public swimming pool and a two-story bathhouse and pavilion built in the city. Stone bridges are scattered around the park that add a historic and serene touch of the scenery. The park also includes a playground, handball court, basketball courts and a softball field.

Finley River Park

The Finley River Park, located off Highway 14 in Ozark is a clean and fun destination for your family. With lots of space to play and roam, the Finley River Park is a great part of the Ozark community. Home to walking trails, a perfect kayaking waterway, and seasonal events such as a hot air balloon festival and craft fairs.

Smallin' Civil War Cave

Smallin' Civil War Cave can be found about 20 minutes south of Springfield and its history dates back all the way to the Native Americans. Enjoy a guided tour of the cave's wonders and even enjoy a lantern tour experience in the fall, along with a gift shop and other activities for the whole family.

Founders Park

The design theme of the park resembles the historic Phenix Quarry, near Willard, Mo., which used steam-operated saws to cut large blocks of limestone for shipment throughout the country. The Great Seal of the State of Missouri was carved on site at Phenix Quarry. Filled with historic photos and artwork, visitors can also enjoy outdoor movie screenings at the park during the summer months. ⁠

Dogwood Canyon

Many opportunities await at this 10,000 acre slice of unspoiled Ozark paradise. Step aboard open-air trams for a guided tour. Try various activities such as biking; walking; horseback riding; trout fishing; private jeep tours; and Segway tours. Keep your eyes peeled for waterfalls, caves, bison, elk and Texas longhorn cattle.⁠

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📸: @dogwood_canyon

Farmer's Park

Home to the Farmer's Market of the Ozarks every Saturday, Farmer's Park is nestled in the southern Springfield community and home to many restaurants, shops, apartments, and the outdoors. Every summer Farmer's Park hosts "Parties in the Park" filled with local vendors and live music. At the end of the night, the event donates the proceeds to a nonprofit in the area.

James River Trail

⁠James River Trail is a 2.2 mile out and back trail located near Springfield, Missouri that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and road biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Lake Springfield Park

Lake Springfield Park offers 153 acres of rolling parkland, featuring trails, woods, bluffs and more than a mile of shoreline along beautiful Lake Springfield.⁠

Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent at the Lake Springfield Boathouse April 1 - October 31. Fish Lake Springfield for largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill and carp, during park hours. The park has several hiking trails, including the Greater Ozark Audubon Trail, the James River Greenway and the Lake Springfield Park Trail.

Washington Park

Washington Park was established in 1869, just before the Frisco Railway brought the railroad to North Springfield — a separate city from Springfield until 1887. The park was named for President George Washington. The park was privately maintained until it and its sister park, Lafayette Park, were acquired by the Park Board in 1913. At the time, they were the only two public parks in Springfield.

Cruse Dog Park

Cruse Dog Park is the first off-leash dog park in Springfield, Missouri. Officially ‘unleashed’ in November, 2008, the park is a 6-acre, fenced facility for dogs to go off-leash to run, play, socialize and exercise. There is a 4 1/2-acre section for large dogs and a one and a half-acre section for small dogs. The Dog Park gate is open sunrise to sunset.

Wild Animal Safari

Missouri's largest Wild Animal Safari with more than 650 animals of 65 species, guests can drive through the 250-acre park themselves or take one of the guided tours. Get face to face with animals from all over the world with walk-thru exhibits. See animals like tigers, giraffes, camels, zebras and many more! 

Springfield Conservation Nature Center

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center provides free conservation educational activities for all ages. Indoors, enjoy nature exhibits, attend programs, purchase hunting and fishing permits, browse through a nature-related gift shop and pick up free conservation brochures. Outdoors, enjoy three miles of hiking trails through a variety of natural communities.

Doling Park

⁠The 56-acre historic park is home to Doling History Museum (open April-October), Gibony Cave and Doling Lake. The Doling Museum is located on the site of the Doling Skating Rink, once the area’s most popular recreational attraction. The original rock wall of the building still stands. The museum contains memorabilia of Doling Park, including items from the amusement park and skating rink days, displays tell the story of Doling Park and other historical information of the Park Board and the community.

Living Memorial Park

To honor America's veterans, President Truman dedicated the park to fallen American heroes in 1958 when he visited Springfield. Close to the nearby Springfield Conservation Nature Center, it's a popular stop among schools for field trips and daytime trips for a lunch in the park.

Fantastic Caverns

Experience the outdoors in America's Ride-Thru Cave. The 55-minute guided tour follows an ancient underground riverbed filled with massive formations. The cave stays a comfortable 60° year-round, the perfect activity to get out of the summer heat.

Springfield Sculpture Walk

Downtown Springfield is home to dozens of sculptures designed and created by local and far-away artists. Known as a "museum without walls with access to all," the sculpture walk is free for everyone to explore. The sculptures change annually every so there is always something new to see. You can learn more about the sculptures at @sculpturewalkspringfield 

Route 66 Food Truck Park

Located on St. Louis Street, the food truck park is home to local Springfield food trucks that serve everything from coffee to tacos to dumplings. Guests can dine outside on an array of picnic tables or take their meals inside the bar area.

Berry Picking Across The Ozarks

The Ozarks area is home to many berry and fruit picking farms that allow you to pick blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, and apples. Head to one of the farms in the area and pick to your heart's content. 

Springfield's Farmers' Markets

Summer is prime time for visiting the Farmers’ Markets, and they're all open.⁠

✨ Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market⁠

✨ C-Street Market⁠

✨ Farmers Market of the Ozarks ⁠

✨ Fair Grove Farmers’ Market

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium

Explore the outdoors inside at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. The 350,000-square-foot space houses over 35,000 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals from small turtles to a large albino alligator. Walk through and view an ocean shipwreck or cross over a swinging bridge into the Louisiana swamp area.

Route 66

Springfield is known as the Birthplace of Route 66 and is home to many historic sites from the original highway as well as newer ones that pay homage to the road that started it all.⁠

✨Gillioz Theatre⁠

✨The Shrine Mosque⁠

✨Route 66 Steak ‘n Shake⁠

✨Red’s Giant Hamburg⁠

✨Route 66 Car Museum⁠

✨College Street Cafe

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