St. Joseph offers some of the most unique outdoor opportunities in Northwest Missouri. The park system, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is comprised of approximately 1,500 acres with 26 miles of parkways and boulevards and 48 parks and related facilities.
Early park planners not only left St. Joseph with our distinctive parkway system, but gave us the theme “American naturalist,” which combines European renaissance architecture and American nature.
The anchor of the park system is Krug Park, which opened to the public in 1902 and is located at the northern end of the Parkway. It has Italian Renaissance structures, extensive landscaping and flowerbeds. The park’s 163 acres house an amphitheater, a large lagoon, rose gardens, and an Italian-style castle with playground. Other features include scenic walking trails, off-road biking trails and various picnic areas. Krug Park “lights up” during the Christmas holiday season as Holiday Park, the largest outdoor light display in Northwest Missouri.
Branching out from Krug Park is the St. Joseph Parkway System. This “green-belt,” that winds through the city for 26 miles was developed in 1918 by architect George Burnap. Saint Joseph was one of the first cities in the United States to develop an imaginative and comprehensive parkway plan. Popular for hiking and biking activities, the completed system connects principal parks and recreational facilities throughout the city. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Along the extensive parkway system lie many outdoor opportunities.
St. Joseph has miles of hiking and biking trails that provide a safe, alternative system for bicycle and pedestrian travel throughout the community. This system parallels the parkway and gives the cyclist and pedestrian a beautiful scenic view, free from vehicular traffic.
Facilities along the parkway system include the St. Joseph Aquatic Park, which includes a 203-foot water slide, a 165-foot water slide, diving well, two one-meter diving boards, waterfall, zero-depth beach entry and a 300-foot lazy river.
For those looking to pick up a game or do some skating, check out the Bode Sports Complex, which has six outdoor lighted basketball courts, a lighted in-line skating rink, and a skate park with numerous grinding rails as well as a half-pipe and ramps. The Bode Complex is attached to Bode Ice Arena, a public ice-skating venue.
If you’re interested in learning more about our unique Missouri natural area, make sure to stop by the Remington Nature Center. Overlooking the Missouri River, this center caters to history and nature buffs alike.
Peer into a 7,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, explore the history of the St. Joseph area, and stand trunk to nose with a woolly mammoth replica. And when you’re finished viewing the many exhibits, make sure to take time to walk along the magnificent 2-mile river walk and view a fabulous Missouri sunset.
Learn more about St. Joseph online at StJoMo.com.
Written by Beth Conway, communications director at the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau.