Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time with your family, embark on a challenging hike, or just want some downtime in nature for yourself.
These best hiking trails and walking paths in the Springfield area offer seclusion and scenic spots to take an opportunity to get outdoors!
Let’s dive in!
Best Walking Trail: Galloway Creek Greenway
Galloway Creek Greenway has a little something for everyone and is by far one of our favorite trails.
For the art lover, there are sculptures to view throughout the trail.
For the nature lover, there are plenty of wooded areas, creeks, rivers, and even a cave area to enjoy along the path.
For the people watcher, the trail runs through the popular Sequiota Park and the ever-buzzing Galloway Village.
And for the seekers of the unique, the Galloway Creek Greenway has a stop at Springfield’s pet cemetery.
Top Pick for Hiking: Busiek
Busiek State park is one of the best held secrets for real nature lovers in Springfield. Halfway between Springfield and Branson off of highway 65, this gifted wilderness near Springfield MO has something for everybody.
There are plenty of great greenways in town, but if you long for elevation change, uneven terrain and surprise creeks then Busiek is for you.
Busiek has water for the kids to splash in. Beautiful trails worth every step. And a gun range separated from the trails.
There really is something for every type of outdoor adventurer!
With 18 miles of trails, you can take a short jaunt or plan on spending the day. Either is worth your time.
The Perfect Middle: Springfield Nature Center
The Springfield Nature Center is a forested gem nestled among the Springfield urban sprawl. This oasis of carefully cultivated forest will quench the thirst of any city dweller looking to connect with nature.
It’s closeness to the city gives you the opportunity to be in nature everyday, if that’s what you want.
With a wide range of terrain types (some paved for easy walking) it will take a while for you to see everything this park has to offer.
And within this respite of nature you will find enough wildlife to keep you awed, including deer, owls, eagles, geese, herons, squirrels, turkeys and more.
The indoor portion of the nature center is filled with great exhibits that will teach you things you didn’t know about your own surroundings.
The Nature Center located at 4601 S Nature Center Way in southeast Springfield is great fun for everyone in the family old enough to walk.
Fassnight Creek Greenway
Starting near Fassnight Park and making its way almost all the way to Phelps Grove Park, this trail runs near the heart of Springfield.
You’ll have beautiful views of Fassnight creek as you follow the trail under Campbell Ave, Bennet St, and Jefferson Ave.
The trail ends just east of Jefferson and is only a short ride down the road to Phelps Grove Park.
There are plans in the works to extend the trail a bit more east until it reaches the Springfield Art Museum!
Frisco Highline Trail
Stretching out over 35 miles, the Frisco Highline Trail has a trailhead starting in northwest Springfield and winds its way through Willard, Walnut Grove, and Wishart, all the way up to Bolivar.
History seeps through every mile of this trail, as it was once the route of the historic Frisco Railroad. Stop by some of the many kiosks scattered throughout the path and read a bit of its history.
While planning your trip on the Frisco trail, leave plenty of time for stops at places like 7C’s Winery, La Petite Gemme Prairie, the Polk County Museum, or one of the 16 Bridges of Polk County.
There’s so much to do on this trail! For a complete list of all to see, click here.
Lake Springfield Park Trail
As obvious by the name, Lake Springfield Park Trail gives you beautiful views of Lake Springfield as you hike or bike it’s 1.4 mile wood chip trail.
Throughout your hike, you’ll roam through the prairie, walk through the woods (and probably catch a view of some wildlife), and stroll by the gorgeous lake.
Even with all of the beauty to be found, my favorite thing about this trail is the abundance of geocaches on and near Lake Springfield Park Trail. If you are a geocacher (which you should be, because it’s awesome) this is the trail for you.
Want more than just a quick 1.4 miles?
Greater Ozark Audubon Trail and James River Greenway Trail
The Lake Springfield Trail also follows a portion of the Greater Ozark AudubonTrail as well as connects with the James River Greenway Trail to continue your journey.
Sac River Mountain Bike Trails
Sac River Mountain Bike Trails north of Dickerson Park Zoo here contain 14 glorious miles of single-track trail through 300 acres of woods in northwest Springfield.
The trails are obviously a great place to mountain bike but are also open for trail running and hiking as well.
There are 5 loops to choose from, ranging in challenge from easy to difficult.
Regardless of which trail you choose, make sure to bring a map and a fully charged cell phone. It’s easy to get turned around when surrounded deeply by the wilderness of the Ozarks.
Don’t have a mountain bike but still want to bike one of the awesome Sac River trails?
Frisco Bike Rental hosts group rides most Mondays and offers rental bikes for the evening!
We hope you were introduced to some new spots that will make your day-to-day life feel more exciting and less mundane! Whether it is quality time spent with family, taking on challenging hikes or just experiencing downtime in nature these locations offer seclusion experiences where we can take advantage of being out there among them trees. The great outdoors are a treasure trove of resources for the soul.
Hope to run across you one one of these trails in the near future!