As the temperatures continue to rise, it’s the perfect time to hit the trails in the Jefferson City area. From a quick jaunt to a lengthier excursion, here are some of the many local trails to get you hiking or biking in no time — just don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray.
Binder Memorial Park
Binder Park, 5840 Rainbow Drive, offers four loop trails ranging from 1.6-4.3 miles, most of which offer scenic views of the lake. The trails range from easy to moderate difficulty and are used for hiking, biking and running. Dogs are permitted on a leash. Also located in Binder Park is the Audubon Nature Trail, 200 Campground Court (trailhead), which is a 0.7-mile walking path.
This out-and-back trail is located in Clark’s Hill/Norton State Historic Site along the eastern edge of Jefferson City. The lightly-trafficked 1.1-mile trail is good for all skill levels and offers views of the Osage and Missouri rivers. It’s estimated to take about 35 minutes. Dogs are allowed on the walking trail if leashed.
Runge Conservation Nature Center
In addition to numerous educational exhibits, Runge Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive, features five hiking trails, including two wood-chipped and three hard-surface trails, totaling 2.4 miles. The trails loop through woodlands, prairies, glades and a wet-weather stream.
Frog Hollow via Edgewood Nature Trail
This lightly trafficked, 3.1-mile loop passes through the woods near the Jefferson City Greenway Trail off West Edgewood Drive, offering glimpses of wildlife. It’s accessible for all skill levels and is used for hiking and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use the trail, though they must be kept on a leash. The hike is estimated to take 1 hour and 25 minutes.
There are about 15 miles of greenway trail throughout Jefferson City offering numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. The term “greenway” refers to a wide sidewalk or linear park. To see maps and details about all the greenway trail spurs in the city, visit www.jcparks.com/park/greenway/.
City park and fitness trails
Numerous city parks offer fitness trails, including:
• McKay Park, 1700 Southridge Drive — 0.6-mile loop.
• Memorial Park, 111 Memorial Park Road — 0.5-mile fitness loop with four additional trail segments for a total of 1.3 miles.
• East Miller Park, 916 E. Miller St. — 0.25-mile fitness trail.
• Ellis-Porter Riverside Park, 300 Ellis Porter Drive — 1.3-mile greenway trail.
• Downtown Fitness mile — 1-mile route starts and ends just west of the High and Jefferson street intersection, passing several Jefferson City must-sees, including the Missouri Capitol and governor’s mansion.
Katy Trail: North Jefferson City to Hartsburg
A local section of the 240-mile, cross-state Katy Trail, it’s a 10.4-mile point-to-point hike from North Jefferson City to Hartsburg, which should take about 4.5 hours. The trail is mostly flat, good for all skill levels and features Missouri River views. The trail is used primarily for hiking, biking and running, and there are numerous trail activities throughout the year. Dogs are allowed on the Katy Trail on a leash.
Moreau Creek Trail
This 5.2-mile loop trail near Russellville features wide mown paths and a lake. There are some wooded areas along the trail, but most of it is in the open sun. It’s rated as moderate with horseback riding and leashed dogs permitted. The hike is expected to take 2.5 hours.
Hart Creek Trail
Primarily used for hiking and mountain biking, the 4.3-mile out-and-back trail near Hartsburg follows the bluffline to an overlook platform with views of the Missouri River valley. The trail, which is part of the Hart Creek Conservation Area, is adjacent to the Katy Trail; it’s rated as moderate and should take 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Earthquake Hollow Trail
Located near New Bloomfield, the trail is a 1.1-mile loop through the forest that is accessible for all skill levels. It winds through an old growth timber in a Missouri Conservation Area. It’s primarily used for hiking and trailing running; dogs are permitted on leash.