For less strenuous or more casual riding, the Ozarks has an abundance of smoother trails, thanks to Ozark Greenways and the tireless work they do. Greenways are linear parks which preserve undeveloped ribbons of natural habitat, usually through urban areas. Greenways typically follow stream corridors or abandoned railroad rights-of-way. Hard surfaced paths with minimal grade
provide access to walkers, runners, bicyclists, in-line skaters, wheelchairs and baby strollers.
Because of this multi-purpose usage, we advise following proper etiquette when interacting with pedestrians, joggers and runners. We are all ambassadors for our sport. Be sure to alert pedestrians when approaching them from behind, and slow your speed. Terminology common among cyclists may be unfamiliar to those outside our sport. Always pass on the left, but if you blaze by and yell "on your left" as you pass, they may get startled and veer to the left. Politely alert them to your presense well in advance. A small act can go a long way in assuring shared trail access for all of us, for many years to come.
These trails are detailed below.
Currently there are a total of 5 miles of trail on the South Creek Greenway. This 10-mile project will eventually connect Meador Park to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. It currently links Nathanael Greene Park, the Japanese Gardens, Close Memorial Park, Horton Smith Golf Course, Carver Middle School and a variety of neighborhoods along its route.
Parking is available at McDaniel Park Trailhead* at Sunset Street and National Avenue (*though a current trail gap requires the use of sidewalks between National and Campbell), at Nathanael Greene Park and at the Volunteer Nature Trail trailhead. A pedestrian and bicyclng overpass allows trail users to safely cross Kansas Expressway. The one-mile Volunteer Nature Trail has a wood-chipped surface that joins the paved greenway in Southwest Springfield, near the Southwest Water Treatment Plant.
There are currently 4.5 miles of trail connecting Pershing Middle School on Seminole Street to Sequiota Park and onto the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. It also links under Highways 160 and 65 and over the old iron James River bridge. Other connections along the trail's route include
Springfield Lake, Galloway Village, Galloway Station Restaurant (with a trail mural!), three churches, and numerous neighborhoods. Parking is available at Sequiota Park, the Nature Center (Please note: The Nature Center does NOT allow bikes or dogs onto their trails!) and Pershing Middle School.
This 30-mile Rail-to-Trail project will connect Willard to Bolivar. A 12-mile section from Willard to Walnut Grove has been completed with a crushed gravel surface and a 1-mile section in Bolivar has been completed with a paved surface. A natural surface trail parallels to the west to provide access for equestrians between Willard and Walnut Grove only.
Directions to Willard from Springfield: Go north on West Bypass as it turns into Highway 160. Trail parking is available at the trailhead next to Willard High School on Jackson Street.
Directions to Walnut Grove from Springfield: Go north on Highway 160 past Willard, then turn north (right) on Highway 123. After approximately ten miles, turn east (right) onto BB Highway. Parking is available at the trailhead located on BB Highway, a quarter-mile east of Walnut Grove's only traffic light.
We encourage you to support or join Ozark Greenways to help assure that we all have scenic trails to enjoy for years to come. To join, view maps of the trails, or simply to get more information about the Ozark Greenways projects and goals, follow this link.