A Guide to Parks and Trails with Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Access
You can complain about the humidity if you want to, but let’s be honest—there’s nothing quite like getting out on a warm summer day and enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks. About the only things that might be able to top that experience are a colorful fall day in the Ozarks or a day at the beach. But since we don’t have any beaches around here, let’s focus on where seniors and others with mobility challenges can go to relax and enjoy what our area has to offer in the way of natural beauty and entertainment.
The following is a list of places you and your mobility-challenged loved ones can go without fear of not being able to get around with comfort and ease. NOTE: This list is in no particular order of relevance or favoritism and is not a complete list. For a complete list of Springfield area parks and trails and what they have to offer you can visit the following website: https://www.parkboard.org/DocumentCenter/View/6067 Or if you are interested in traveling around the state of Missouri and want to know where you can find easy access, visit: httpss://www.springfieldmo.org/listings/1143/bennett-spring-state-park
- The Frisco Highline Trail runs from Springfield to Bolivar. The trail is wide and asphalt covered from Springfield to Willard (8 miles).
- The Galloway Creek Greenway starts at Pershing Middle School in Springfield and runs through Sequiota Park, under Highway 65 and connects to the Springfield Nature Center trail (not accessible to wheelchairs and scooters in most areas). The Galloway Creek Greenway is concrete, wide, and is easily accessible from various parking facilities along the way.
- Branson Landing/Table Rock Lake. The Branson Landing that sits along Table Rock Lake offers a nice concrete trail that is accessible from the parking facility of the landing and goes around the lake.
- Nathaniel Greene/Close Park Memorial Garden is one of the prettiest sights in the Ozarks. This beautiful park has wide concrete trails that go in several directions around the facilities, around a large lake, and one that takes you into a more quiet wooded area to enjoy the stillness of nature and possibly even see a few deer along the way. The trails total several miles and don’t include many inclines (none of which are steep).
- Phelps Grove Park. If you’re looking for something that will allow you to just get out and get a breath of fresh air, the asphalt trial circling Phelps Grove Park’s play area is what you are looking for. The trail is not as wide as the others and you will have to go over a small area of grass to access it, it’s still a nice way to enjoy the sunshine.
- Silver Dollar City. There are hills to climb in your chair or scooter (hey, it’s the Ozarks), but the staff at SDC make every effort to ensure you have a wonderful and fun-filled day.
- Jordan Creek Greenway has a great concrete trail that can be enjoyed by those on foot or on wheels. The trail is 7 miles long and passes through a few of Springfield’s many parks.
- Fastnight Creek Greenway is also a 7 mile trail passing through Fastnight, Phelp Grove, and Dooling Park. This trail winds through and under several older, and quaint areas of Springfield.
- Springfield Nature Center. The Nature Center has a small area of its trail that is accessible to scooters and power wheelchairs, There are some inclines that are rather steep, however, and the trail is not very wide.
Again, this is not a complete list, but it is enough to get you out and about and enjoying the Ozark sunshine.