Things to Do

The Best Places for Scenic Cycling in Southwest Missouri

No matter your level of experience, you can bike through picturesque parts of 417-land this season. Try these routes for changing fall colors you won’t forget.

By Michelle Lewis, Katie Pollock Estes

May 2024

Bike trails
Photo courtesy ShutterstockEnjoy these routes with a scenic view of spring in 417-land.

For Cycling in the City 

South Creek Greenway 
The South Creek Greenway Trail is the perfect place to surround yourself with a wide variety of blossoms. For a longer adventure, start your ride at the McDaniel Park Trailhead at National Avenue and Sunset Street and make your way to the show-stopping Springfield Botanical Gardens. Here you’ll find dozens of gardens including daylilies, peonies and roses alongside native plants and grasses to make for plenty of scenic views along your peaceful ride.

For the Whole Family 

Jordan Creek Greenway 
Valley Park and downtown Springfield on the Jordan Creek Greenway, a trail that spans over 3 miles through parks and neighborhoods and is comprised of traditional trail and side paths. Weave through dogwoods with branches full of white flowers and pass by blooming bushes paired with daffodils. Continue on the greenway toward Smith Park to find a restored native wildflower area with a variety of native grasses and flowers.

For a Mountain Biking Adventure

Frisco Highline Trail 
Winding 35 miles through scenic Ozarks, the Frisco Highline Trail hosts an abundance of beautiful blooms throughout the spring and summer months. Native to Missouri, the Red Bud and Yellowwood Trees along the trail grow lovely blooms beginning in April and May. Start your ride near the Bolivar trailhead and make your way to mile marker 32 to find a native wildflower prairie where you can view over 300 species including the flowering blue sage.

For a Galloway Day Out 

Galloway Creek Greenway 
Beginning at Pershing Middle School, the Galloway Creek Greenway Trail heads south through Sequiota Park and to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Offering panoramic streamside views, this trail is perfect for a spring ride with abundant blooming trees and spring leaves. For those looking for a day-long adventure, Galloway Village along the trail offers a variety of local restaurants and breweries where you can enjoy the spring views from breezy patios.

Grab a Bite While You Bike

Neighborhood Ride

The Trek: Rountree
The Extra Fun: Tie & Timber Beer Co.
If you love quiet streets, tall trees, deep front lawns and lovely historic homes, then a bike ride through the sweet and scenic Rountree neighborhood is a no-brainer. There are plenty of unique places at Pickwick and Cherry where you can end your ride with a bite or a sip. But to keep with the outdoors vibe, we recommend finding a table at Tie & Timber Beer Co. Their beer garden is spacious, and their beer menu has a wide selection with something for everybody.

Ozark Daytrip

The Trek: Chadwick Flyer Trail
The Extra Fun: The Workshop at Finley Farms
Eventually, Chadwick Flyer Trail will run from the Ozark Community Center to Springfield’s Sunshine Street, connecting the two cities. And although the trail is still in development, there are some spots already completed. We recommend hopping on to explore the trail near the community center in Ozark, then riding down the road to Finley Farms. There you can take a break at The Workshop and indulge in some avocado toast or an excellent espresso drink.

Friendly Competition

The Trek: South Creek Greenway
The Extra Fun: Classic’s Yard
South Creek Greenway starts at McDaniel Park at the corner of Sunset Street and National Avenue. Park your car there, and then hop on the trail that weaves westward through Springfield. You can keep going for quite a while—in fact the trail goes all the way to Nathanael Greene Park and the Wilson’s Creek Greenway. We recommend taking a brief detour at Sunset Street and Kansas Expressway for a side trip to Classic’s Yard at Classic Rock Coffee to play pickleball and get a snack.

Looking for More Great Trails?

Take a look at our full roundup of the best trails in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.