By Savanah Bandy • Photo by Mandy Edmonson

Did you know regularly going for a 30-minute walk can dramatically reduce stress, support weight loss and increase your self-esteem? Walking is one of the best ways to improve your physical and mental health because it’s easy on the joints and costs nothing to get started. Getting outside and walking with a pal boosts the benefits even more, so grab a friend and head out to one of Joplin’s many beautiful trails! 

This month, we are highlighting Wildcat Park, one of our area’s most popular trails due to its paved and dirt paths, abundance of wildlife and beautiful views. 

Without further ado, here are the top places to “Walk This Way!”

Wildcat Park

55th and South Main Street

Wildcat Glades trail is a 3.4-mile loop trail that features a waterfall, Mother Nature’s Crack and majestic views of the globally rare chert glades. The trail offers a number of activity options for hikers of all skill levels. 

Mercy Park

26th and Maiden Lane

The walking trails at Mercy Park are some of Joplin’s most popular. The Large Trail is .57 miles, the Prairie Trail is .25 miles and the Pond Trail is .31 miles. Enjoy views of the reflecting pond and fountains, butterfly mural and Rotary Sculpture Garden. Visitors can also take the stairs to Mercy Chapel and take in breathtaking views of the entire park. 

Cunningham Park

24th and Maiden Lane

A walking trail winds through the lovely oasis that is Cunningham Park. This park is home to May 2011 tornado memorials and the beautiful Butterfly Memorial. The park also offers two playgrounds, a basketball court, aquatic center, reflecting pond and three gazebos. 

Landreth Park

4th and Murphy Blvd

One of Joplin’s largest parks, Landreth Park has a walking trail of 1.04 miles plus an amphitheater, ball diamonds, pickleball courts, sand volleyball, picnic pavilion, playground and much more. It also features 18 holes of disc golf, which is very popular!

Campbell Parkway

15th and Murphy Boulevard 

The walking trails at Campbell Parkway feature a north loop of .81 miles and a south loop of .51 miles. Visitors can easily access both for a combined trip of 1.32 in the sunshine and shade.

Parr Hill Park

Between 15th and 17th Streets on Kansas Avenue

Parr Hill Park has fun for the whole family, including your dog! This sprawling park features three playgrounds, a splash pad, dog park, water feature, basketball court, three pavilions and a walking trail connecting it all. 

Humphrey Park

Utica and Independence Avenue

Humphrey Park is nestled in the Royal Heights neighborhood and features a walking trail of .35 miles. It also offers a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic pavilion and six disc-golf baskets.  

Leonard Park

4th and Turk 

Located in the heart of Joplin, the walking trail at Leonard Park loops around the park’s many facilities, including a picnic pavilion with electricity, grills, a playground, tennis court and a softball backstop. 

McIndoe Park

Shoal Creek and Jackson Avenue

Take in the sights and sounds of beautiful Shoal Creek at the McIndoe Park walking trail. This park offers public fishing, grills, boat ramp and a tranquil environment to relax in the great outdoors.