Get out there, St. Joseph style
Enjoy an afternoon, a weekend or a sunset with river views with us … year-round. We’ve got five area golf courses; miles of parkway trails; mountain biking paths; a wooden bat league; ice hockey and more. Across the city you’ll find friends to enjoy the outdoors with you, including disc golf leagues, two country clubs, numerous bike and running clubs and crossfit teams. And … if you are looking for some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in America, the region surrounding St. Joseph in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
PARKS AND PARKWAYS
Check out the hidden treasures at our St. Joseph parks. Connected by the 26-mile Parkway system, you’ll enjoy plenty of mature trees, green spaces and shade from one end of town to the other. Hyde Park on the south side of town has a newly-remodeled baseball complex, an updated playground and its own flat, shaded biking or walking path. Bartlett Park in the center offers an accessible play area and large green spaces. Krug Park on the north side of town is a long-time charmer, with the famous “castle” structure; stone archways and staircases; a remodeled play area and an outdoor theater. Near the Shoppes at North Village, a new fully-inclusive play space called Jumpin’ Jungle offers year-round, exciting areas with music stations, sensory equipment and unique styles of swings.
Lane swimming is easy to find in St. Joseph. Visit the Genesis Health Club along the North Belt Highway. There’s a newly remodeled pool on campus at MWSU, or enjoy outdoor lane swimming at the St. Joseph Aquatic Park and St. Joseph Country Club. For the outdoors, Lake Contrary offers shelter houses, areas for boating, kayaking, picnicking, horseshoes and more.
TENNIS AND HOOPS
For a quick game of hoops or a tennis match, check out the courts on Noyes Avenue or by Corby Pond. The Bode Sports Complex offers six lighted outdoor courts with pro-style backboards and new pickleball and skateboard areas. Play basketball indoors anytime there’s open gym space at the Rec Center, or check out the outdoor basketball and tennis courts at the Northside Complex.
FOR SPORTS FANS
Get ready to play, sports fans. Set alongside the scenic river walking path, the Bill McKinney Softball Complex has been awarded “Facility of the Year.” In addition to irrigated fields and savvy lighting, there’s chair-back seating and a new children’s play area. Ice hockey and skating lessons are available at Bode Ice Arena year-round. The St. Joseph Rec Center offers an indoor track, full-scale workout room, classes and indoor courts — plus it’s right on the parkway trail so you can combine a workout with jogging or biking. Youth soccer is well-established at the fields off Riverside Avenue. Football fans love the Kansas City Chiefs Camp every August at the fantastic professional facility at MWSU. Disc golfers rejoice at the full-scale course at MWSU and on the parkway. Bantam football leagues take the fields almost every fall weekend at the Northside Complex. There’s more, but you get the picture.
HIKING AND BIKING PATHS
If you like to hike or bike STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING and go to the River Bluff Trails Park. The park boasts miles and miles of multiuse cross-country trails and dedicated biking trails including numerous downhill runs and flow lines. From youth skill zones to expert-only drops and gaps, there’s something for all rider levels. Boulder-lined pathways meander along the ridges with scenic overlooks to enjoy relaxing sunsets over the beautiful Missouri River and Kansas skyline. Adjoining the Sunbridge Hills Conservation Area, the trail system calls to anyone seeking adventure. It’s new and it’s awesome. Hint from a regular: download the MTB Project App and use to research the trails.
But you can’t forget about our historic and equally awesome parkway system. The 26-mile parkway trail offers scenic, shady and smooth jogging, walking or riding anytime. For more adventurous hiking or walking, check out the woodchip trails at MWSU. There are somewhat “hidden” mountain biking and walking paths in the woods alongside the Parkway trail, with trails near Corby Pond as a good starting point. Hikers also love the wooded bluff trails at Krug Park – great for mountain biking, too.
Golf? We got it. Fairview Golf Course (popular for league golf) and the St. Joseph Country Club are just a few of the beautiful courses you’ll enjoy. Copper Hill Golf Club offers a driving range as well as a course. Ten minutes north of St. Joseph is Savannah’s golf course. Joe Town Mini Golf (and it’s adjacent go-kart track) is a lot of fun for those who don’t take the sport as seriously. Don’t miss out on the St. Joseph classic, Cool Crest Garden Golf mini golf experience.
FISHING, HUNTING, SHOOTING SPORTS AND CONSERVATION
Drop a line in the mowed, easily accessible pond on the campus of MWSU — conveniently located next to hiking and walking paths and the Missouri Department of Conservation building. Note: This building is a must-see, with expansive exhibits, friendly agents and live animals at no charge. Have a picnic on the Conservation Department’s back deck or try the wooded walking path.
You can also try your fishing luck off the dock at Corby Pond while enjoying scenic views of the parkway trails. Find 40 acres to explore at the Caroline Sheridan Logan Wildlife Area (just off of Highland Avenue) or enjoy 85 acres of trails and fields at Mark Youngdahl Urban Conservation Area, located in the city limits but with a “world away” feeling.
St. Joseph is the perfect home base for hunting and trapping on several large public hunting areas. If you are looking for a little guidance and camaraderie with fellow conservation hunters there are plenty of outfitters in the region.
Trap shooting is also a fun and serious hobby for many living in and around St. Joseph for high school team and adult recreation teams and hobbyists.
The trails and availability of great places to bike is one of the hidden gems of our community. I have ridden and raced in many, many places and I don’t know of any other community in the Midwest that has such accessible places to ride. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or taking the family out to ride, there is something for you. We have great single-track for people to ride their mountain bikes, wide boulevards for road bikes, paved trails for the kids and the weekend warriors and endless miles of gravel roads for those who wish to ride the road less traveled. All of which can be reached within min of your garage.Jason Douglas, Partner, Comfort of Home Healthcare