Warmer temperatures have returned, and with them comes more sunshine, longer days, and the need to get outside after being cooped up throughout the winter.
This means summer is approaching in earnest, and so is National Trails Day, which is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in June. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the event, which celebrates and promotes trails while giving advocates a chance to organize service projects and show local trails some much-needed love.
This informal holiday is a perfect time for newcomers to become familiar with the local walking and biking trails by joining in the volunteer efforts or planning their first trail walk or ride.
So, let’s get some exercise, soak up the sun, and spend time with friends and family. We’ll see you on the trails!
Joplin Area Trails
Frisco Greenway Trail:
This multi-use walking, running, and biking trail starts at North Street in Joplin before crossing Turkey Creek, continuing to St. Louis Avenue, and heading east to Florida Avenue. It stretches three-and-a-half miles along the path of a former railroad line previously owned by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. The Webb City trailhead is near a bike shop, a coffee shop, and several restaurants.
George Washington Carver Trail:
Located in Diamond, Missouri, this trail runs through the grounds of George Washington Carver National Monument. It is three-fourths of a mile long and features beautiful scenery as well as educational opportunities, including the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver cemetery. The visitors’ center and museum features exhibits on George Washington Carver’s life and accomplishments, as well as activities for all ages.
Ruby Jack Trail:
The Ruby Jack Trail stretches across three communities in southwest Missouri, following the path of another former railroad. Starting in Carthage and running through Oronogo and Carl Junction, the trail runs for 16 miles before stopping at the Kansas state line. The path is made up of crushed limestone, which makes it perfect for cyclists, runners, and joggers. Visitors can also bring their dogs on the trail, if they are leashed.
Wildcat Park is a popular destination with nearly three-and-a-half miles of paths that wind through scenic wooded bluffs overlooking Shoal Creek and the iconic Grand Falls. The trail connects to the City of Joplin’s McIndoe Park trails. Visitors can also drop by the Shoal Creek Conservation Center to learn more about the park and see a 1,300-gallon aquarium of local fish species, as well as other native animals that are on display.
Joplin Parks & Trails:
Looking for a trail that’s closer to home? The City of Joplin maintains several walking trails across the area, including some that are located in or around local parks. They are:
- Campbell Parkway: 1.32 miles
- Cunningham Park: 0.35 miles
- Humphrey Park: 3/10 of a mile
- Landreth Park: 0.83 miles
- Leonard Park: 0.83 miles
- McIndoe Park: 0.62 miles
- Mercy Park: 1.13 miles
- Mohaska Trail: 1.15 miles
- St. John’s Trail: 0.5 miles (will connect to Tin Cup Trail, which is under construction)