Road Trip: Outdoor Adventure in Springfield, Missouri | Terrain Magazine

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The “S” in Springfield might as well stand for superlative. This southwest Missouri city, the third largest in the state, truly entertains with not just the quantity and quality of its attractions but also their remarkable scale and scope. Even the rain that haunted my family when we visited earlier this year could not — wait for it — dampen our spirits. Places like the Discovery Center and the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium made ideal diversions that brought the outside in, the former featuring interactive exhibits that encourage learning in science, art and culture. (My kids loved the dinosaur bone dig and high-wire bike ride.)

But outdoors is where this grown-up Ozarks town really shows off its choose-your-own-adventure mix of scenery, history and fun opportunities for all kinds of sports and activities. For example, did you that Route 66 can trace a path all the way back to 1837’s “Springfield Road” between St. Louis and its namesake settlement? You can still walk, run or ride a bike along what remains of the old “Main Street of America” and see its kitschy roadside charms, such as the old Gay Parita gas station.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

MoBikeFed comment: Read the rest of this excellent article for details about a raftload of fun outdoor activities, trails, and places to visit in the Springfield area.

For bicycle routes in this part of Missouri, check out these possibilities:

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