Crowder State Park
4 hours from Springfield
Crowder State Park is home to thick forests of sugar maple, stately white and red oaks, cottonwood, river birch, silver maple and sycamore trees, which make it a great winter destination due to its unusual environment. The park is 1,912 acres and offers more than 17 miles of hiking, mountain biking, backpacking and equestrian trails. While there are many activities to be done at Crowder State Park, there is also an annual “First Day Hike” on January 1st. The “First Day Hike” offers multiple times and hike lengths, so it is an accessible event for everyone. Check out the park’s website for more information.
Prairie State Park
1 hour and 45 minutes from Springfield
Sitting on nearly 4,000 acres, Prairie State Park is known for being one of the few remaining acreages of tallgrass prairie land in Missouri, as well as the home to many bison that can be seen on your hike. Although there might not be many blooms in the winter, once spring hits you will see the fields begin to have a blanket of red, purple and cream-colored blossoms of Indian paintbrush, arrow-leaved violet, and cream wild indigo flowers. While the park is always open for visitors, there are guided “bison-tennial” hikes on February and March 6th.