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Valley Water Mill Park – beautiful walking paths in Springfield MO

Valley Water Mill Park - beautiful walking paths in Springfield MO
Valley Water Mill Park - map of beautiful walking paths in Springfield MO

Walking Trails in Valley Water Mill Park Near Springfield MO:

Located on the Greenways next to the Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center, the Valley Water Mill Park is a great little set of walking trails close to Springfield MO. 

There are many places to walk near me, but this is one of my favorites.  There’s ample parking, trails are easy to navigate, and the scenic views are definitely worth a visit!  

Above 1st pic: scenic bluff overlook of the lake from the walking trail.  Above 2nd pic: Valley Water Mill Park trail map.

DIRECTIONS and SPECIFICS:”Located northeast of Springfield on Valley Water Mill Road, the park features a mile and a half hiking trail around the Mill along with other in-Park trails, water-and-stream side learning stations, outdoor classroom pavilion, fishing piers, and The Watershed Center of the Ozarks.” 

“Valley Water Mill Lake is a 13-acre lake managed under a cooperative agreement between the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The lake opened to fishing in March 2012. Several species of sportfish are in the lake including Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Redear Sunfish, and a few Black Crappie. Largemouth Bass and Bluegill provide the best fishing opportunities. As for non-game fish, Common Carp are also present.”- from https://www.parkboard.org/287/Valley-Water-Mill-Park

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Valley Water Mill Park - beautiful walking paths in Springfield MO

The Walking Trails of Elephant Rocks State Park Missouri – One of the Most Popular Missouri Parks!

Hiking Trails and Scenic Views at Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri:

I grew up close to Elephant Rocks State Park, so I’ve loved and enjoyed this place for years!  Located in Bellview Missouri, about 3-4 hours from Springfield, Elephant Rocks State Park (Google maps) is an old granite quarry with lakes, hiking and walking trails, and scenic views!  The walking trails are wheelchair accessible with a braille trail and is an easy hike, but you don’t have to stick to the paths – you’re free to roam the giant rock formations and do some rock climbing as well!

Walking Trails or Rock Climbing:  How About Both!

I always try to stick to the path for the first round each visit, but never make it – the rocks are just too enticing!  I’m sure I’m biased, but this is one the best Missouri parks.

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Below 1st pic: Ascending the main rock formation – a hint of things to come with this crevice. The further you go, the bigger and deeper these crevices get! Below 2nd pic: View from along the walking trail, looking onto some of the flatter sections of rock. Below 3rd pic: At the top, looking into one of the best areas of the park – huge formation split by winding foot trails and large formations to walk and jump across!

More Amazing Missouri Parks and Camping Near Elephant Rocks State Park:

There’s no camping at Elephant Rocks, but there is camping at Johnson’s Shut-ins, another amazing Missouri park that’s about 15-20 miles away from Elephant Rocks – and it also has a plethora of walking trails and beautiful, scenic views (including amazing rock formations you can swim around in the Black River).  If you’re looking for a fun weekend trip, this is definitely one that should be on your list!!

Below 1st pic: interesting rock formations abound at Elephant Rocks State Park!  Below 2nd pic: more of the same granite rock formation, just to the right of the previous pic.

The boulder on the left looks so small 3 pics up, but with this pic you get a hint of it’s sheer size!

Learn more about Elephant Rocks State Park on the Missouri Parks website

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Walking Trails: Lost Hill Park Trail in Springfield MO – Missouri Parks

Lat pic above: one of the beautiful water crossings that goes over the walking trail, but be careful as the paths can be under water and slick!

4705 N. Farm Rd 151, Springfield, MO 65803 (North on Grant past Ebenezer, MO)

Next to the trailhead for the Fulbright Spring Greenway trail, Lost Hill Park offers beautiful rock formations and small natural caves along the South Dry Sac River walking trails.  The biking / walking trails are very easy, mostly paved, and it’s not a long hike.  The trail ends at an old cemetery, and with the walk out and back totals less than 3 miles.

Abandoned Structures Along The Walking Trails of Lost Hill Park

For those that follow my blog, you know I love abandoned structures – so I had to include these pics!  While I love parks for their natural beauty, it’s always fun when they include a bit of history such as an old farm, house, or cemetery along the walking trails. This beautiful park includes all the above, along with small river caves and so much more:

About Fulbright Spring Greenway

Starting at Ritter Springs Park, this trail takes you east under Highway 13, past David C. Murray Trailhead and Lost Hill Park, and ends at Truman Elementary school.  This trail is currently just shy of 7 miles on it’s own, but can be increased by taking the different park trails along the route.

Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail Near Truman Lake Missouri – Breathtaking Hiking Trails in Warsaw

Overlooking Truman Lake from the Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail in Warsaw, Missouri

Truman Lake Missouri Hiking Trails and Abandoned Structures

There are a lot of hiking trails, marinas, bike trails, and more in this area of Benton County around Truman Lake in Warsaw Missouri. 

The Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail is for hiking only.  The trail goes through wooded terrain including evergreen forests, then out onto a trail along the bluffs.  The scenic views from this area of the trail are beautiful! 

The trails can get technical and were simple cleared paths and old gravel roads.  It’s a 2.3 mile loop so be prepared for a bit of a trek.  If you want to see the bluffs and structure with less of a walk, go left at the beginning of the trail.  We went right and it was fun to finish the hike with these things closer to the end.

Since I also love abandoned structures this little gem was a great find along the trail:

Parks Around Truman Lake: Abandoned Homestead Along the Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail in Warsaw Missouri

This little homestead wasn’t far from the lake, and whoever had the experience of staying here must have loved it.

We finished this moderately challenging trail in a little over an hour, but we stopped to enjoy the bluffs and the abandoned homestead, so it would likely take less than an hour if you were there for the hiking only.

We went on a day that was dry and the footing was really good, but mud could be an issue in wetter seasons.

Parking was fairly easy but the lot is parking for a marina, so on busy marina days that could change.  The trail wasn’t busy at all and doesn’t seem to see a lot of foot traffic.

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DIRECTIONS:

(Warsaw Missouri): “Take the West Dam Access Road to Shawnee Bend Park. At the top of the boat ramp parking lot is the Shawnee Bend Trail head. Enter around the yellow gate.” – http://www.warsawchamberofcommerce.com/biking—lake-life.html

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