Albert-Oakland Park Blue Ridge and Oakland Gravel Roads Columbia, MO 573-474-5331 (pool)
This 75 acre park has a municipal swimming pool, 3 tennis courts, 2 softball fields and 3 volleyball courts along with picnic shelters, playgrounds and a frisbee-disc golf course.
Alpine Parks and Gardens 14341 Proctor Road, Columbia MO 573-443-7106
12 miles N on US Hwy 63 & 2 miles W on Hwy 124. Set among century old White Oak tree & upland forest, Alpine's 4 acre botanical garden blends peacefully into the surrounding 43 acre nature conservatory. Anchored by a unique 2400 sq. ft. Timber Frame pavilion overlooking a large Koi pond and cascading waterfall, this park emulates an aura of serenity and peacefulness for weddings, reunions and other special events. For more information call 573-443-7106 or www.alpineparkandgardens.com
Bear Creek Trail Access & Parking at 2799 N. Garth, Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
Access & Parking at 2799 N. Garth and3201 Creasy Springs Rd. (Oakland Park & Cosmo Park.) Bear Creek Trail runs in an east/west direction across the northern part of the city. The trail links Oakland and Cosmopolitan Parks. The path is 10 feet wide with a crushed limestone surface that is good for walking, jogging and biking. The section of the trail between Garth Ave. and Creasy Springs includes a 275 foot boardwalk built on the face of a steep hillside, a bridge over Bear Creek and a short loop trail which encircles a wetland area. 4.3 miles.
Capen Park 1300 Rock Quarry Road, Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
Open 6am-11pm. Features a hiking trail, covers an area of 30 acres, with a 60-foot cliff that overlooks the rest of the park.
Columbia Parks and Recreation 1 S. 7th St., Columbia, MO 65201 573-874-7460
The City of Columbia Park and Recreation Department currently operates and maintains over 2,000 acres of land dedicated to parks usage, distributed among 51 different sites. Park and Trail guides are available at the Parks and Recreation office at 1 S. 7th St. Call 573-874-7460 or visit www.GoColumbiaMo.com for more information.
Cosmopolitan Recreation Area Stadium Blvd & Bus Loop 70 W, Columbia, MO 573-445-4213 (golf course)
Columbia's largest recreation area, the 530-acre Cosmo Park has 18-hole L.A. Nickell Golf Course, the six-field Rainbow Softball Center, 4 baseball fields, 19 soccer fields, 12 horseshoe pits, 8 tennis courts, 8 volleyball courts, Cosmo Skate Park and numerous other activities.
Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area 6700 North Route K 573-445-3882
6 miles southwest of Columbia, near McBaine, off Route K. This 4,269-acre wetland area provides 10 miles of stream frontage on Eagle Bluffs. These marshes provide year-round habitat for migrating and wintering birds as well as a permanent home for wildlife.
Finger Lakes State Park 10 miles N off U.S. Hwy 63 573-443-5315
Open year round, dawn to dusk, the park includes a shaded camping area featuring basic and electric sites, modern restrooms and showers, lakes for swimming, fishing, and canoeing, a public beach, bike and hiking trails, more than 70 miles of off-road riding areas for motorcycles and ATVs, and a motocross track.
Flat Branch Park 101 S. 4th Street, Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
Flat Branch Park in Downtown Columbia is bordered by the Flat Branch Creek, and features a gazebo, benches and tables, sidewalks, beautiful landscaping, historic markers, and green space. The park serves as the trailhead to the MKT Trail.
Grindstone Nature Area and Park 2011 Old 63 South, Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
6:00am-11:00pm. Includes an area of 230 acres, features a 3-mile hiking trail. There is also a picnic shelter and historic site. This park also has a limestone cliff and a diversity of vegetation.
Hinkson Creek Trail 1600 Capen Park Dr., Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
2011 Old 63 S. or 1600 Capen Park Dr.The trail begins at Grindstone Nature Area, connects to Capen Park and to the MKT Trail at the 2 mile marker. The 10 foot wide crushed stone trail is good for walking, jogging or biking.
In 1986, the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad (nicknamed the Katy) stopped running between Sedalia and St. Charles, Missouri. By 1996, the old Katy Railway had become the Katy Trail State Park, one of the longest rails-to-trails conversions in the U.S. The Katy Trail is a flat, crushed-limestone trail that can be enjoyed on foot, by bicycle or wheelchair as it meanders across the state and along the Missouri River. http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/index.html The 8.9 mile MKT spur that connected downtown Columbia to the Katy was also converted through the joint efforts of the City of Columbia and Boone County Government. The MKT is a popular walking and jogging trail which begins as an urban walkway from Flat Branch Park located in the downtown district at 4th & Cherry. The trail soon becomes a densely wooded passage as it travels toward Hindman Junction where the Katy and MKT Trails meet in McBaine, MO. Parking is available near the MKT at the Stadium, Forum, and Scott Boulevard access points. An informational kiosk and shelter has been constructed at Hindman Junction near the Katy Trailhead in McBaine.
Lake of the Woods Recreation Area Lake of the Woods to 6700 St. Charles Road, Columbia, MO 573-474-7011 (golf course)
On the grounds of this 148-acre park is an 18-hole golf course, a municipal swimming pool and 3 lakes. Fishing is allowed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Garden 800 S. Stadium Boulevard, Columbia MO 573-874-7460
These landscaped gardens with walkways & benches provide a quiet setting for individuals or a place to hold cultural events. The writings of Dr. King are displayed as part of a sculptured amphitheater with eight triangular upright columns. Located next to the MKT Trail, the Garden is free and open to the public and has ample parking.
Nifong Park Hwy 63 S & Nifong Blvd. (AC Exit), Columbia, MO 573-874-7460
Site of the popular fall Heritage Festival, the 60-acre Nifong Park contains the 1877 Maplewood Home, Maplewood Barn Theatre and the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum.
Pinnacles Youth Park U.S. Hwy 63 N, 12 Miles north of Columbia 573-445-9792
70-acre private park is open to the public during daylight hours. Silver Fork Creek and Kelly Creek formed the Pinnacles, a thin 75-foot high and 1,000 foot long Burlington limestone ridge. Several trails exist to explore the rock formations. Grills, picnic tables and shelters available.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park 7 miles S. of I-70, off Hwy 63 573-449-7402
Open year-round, dawn to dusk, this 2273-acre day-use park features a natural rock bridge formation, tours of Devil's Icebox Cave, hiking trails, shelter & picnic areas and the Gans Creek Wild Area. www.mostateparks.com/rockbridge/geninfo.htm
Shelter Insurance Gardens 1817 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65216 Free, open daily dawn to dusk. Closed on Christmas day.
Award-winning five-acre garden with more than 300 varieties of trees and shrubs, and more than 15,000 annuals and perennials. The gardens feature a replica one-room school house, a "sensory garden" designed for the visually impaired, a memorial to Vietnam Veterans, a waterfall and reflecting pool, stream, rose garden, gazebo, giant sundial and more. Free concerts on designated Sunday evenings in June & July.
Stephens Lake Park East Broadway & Old Hwy 63 Columbia, MO 65201 free
This 111-acre park features an 11-acre lake with a free swimming beach. Fishing and non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake. A boardwalk leads park users to a beautifully landscaped island. A hard surface trail surrounds the lake and a gravel and concrete trail will encircle the park. The park has shelters, playgrounds and an open space play field for games and personal fun such as kite flying.
Three Creeks Conservation Area U.S. Hwy 63 S, on Deer Park Road 573-884-6861
Open year-round, 4am-10pm, this 1277-acre conservation area offers hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. Primitive camping, seasonal hunting or gathering of mushrooms, nuts & berries is allowed. Cave exploring with permission, 573-884-6861, is permitted. www.mdc.state.mo.us or www.missouriconservation.org
Twin Lakes Recreation Area 2500 Chapel Hill Road, Columbia, MO 573-445-8839 (pool)
Enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, walking and nature study on this 60-acre site. The 6.5-acre swimming lake has a deck, diving platform, water slides and a large sand beach area. Paddle boats for rent. 26-acre fishing/boating (nonmotorized) lake. Separate from the lake is Pirate's Landing, a water playground for small children with filtered/chlorinated water.