Explore Joplin, Missouri’s Great Outdoors

Outdoor & Adventure

Groups looking for an outdoor adventure will love Joplin’s fabulous natural beauty

Located in the beautiful Ozarks of Southwest Missouri, Joplin is where Historic Route 66 unites with a pair of interstates (44 and 49) and is the hub where Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City, and Fayetteville join forces. With so much to see and do, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are a few outdoor attractions that will enable guests to get out and explore Joplin’s amazing natural beauty.

Visit the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center is situated in Wildcat Park next to some of the world’s last remaining chert glades, a globally unique habitat found only in this area, and the biologically rich Shoal Creek, where migratory birds and other wildlife thrive. Highlights of the Center include a 1,300-gallon aquarium that replicates an Ozark stream, nature discovery exhibits, an expansive bird-viewing area, and classrooms for community education programming. It’s also home to the Wildcat Glades Nature Store, operated by Wildcat Glades  Nature Group. The Nature Group also runs Wildcat Village, just south of the Education Center, which features an education cottage, hammock frames, a natural play area, and restrooms. Explore Wildcat Park and find four plus miles of park trails that lead you over globally unique chert glades, through the woods, past caves, and up to the limestone bluffs where you can catch a bird’s-eye view of Shoal Creek.

The banks of Grand Falls

The banks of Grand Falls are lovely.

Explore Grand Falls in Missouri

Known as the largest continuously flowing natural waterfall in Missouri, Grand Falls is a must-stop photo op for visitors. Located on Shoal Creek just a few minutes downstream from Wildcat Park, “The Falls” plunges 12 feet down a 163-foot-wide ledge of solid chert before crashing into jagged crags and flowing peacefully to the south. Visitors can bring a blanket or windbreaker and plan to sit on the natural rock outcroppings and enjoy this soothing natural space.

Outward Bound located at Rotary Clubs of Joplin Sculpture Garden in Mercy Park

Outward Bound sculpture located at Rotary Clubs of Joplin Sculpture Garden in Mercy Park.

Rotary Clubs of Joplin Sculpture Garden at Mercy Park in Missouri

Visitors to Joplin’s Mercy Park can not only walk through a peaceful natural setting, they can also observe beautiful pieces of art while doing so in the park’s Rotary Clubs of Joplin Sculpture Garden. A joint project of Joplin Rotary Club and Joplin Daybreak Rotary Club, the Garden begins at the parking lot and flows clockwise through the park. Seventeen bronze sculptures dot a paved trail that winds around a tranquil pond and through a prairie area filled with tall grasses and wildflowers. A cultural oasis in the middle of the city, the garden encourages visitors to connect with nature and art to promote wellness within an urban environment. Featuring works of Tim Cotterill, Rosalind Cook, and Angela Mia De la Vega, this garden will wow you. Mercy Park, designed as a 16-acre passive park, is part of the City of Joplin’s Parks inventory. Amenities include accessible sidewalks, a public restroom, two picnic pavilions, a pond with fountain features, and murals.

There’s plenty more to experience in Joplin, Missouri, so be sure to visit the Joplin Missouri Website and Subscribe to Leisure Group Travel for FREE to get even more travel tips and ideas for all over the globe


Visit Joplin MO

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Kerstin Landwer

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(417) 622-4790

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417 625 4790


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