Explore the Great Outdoors in Jefferson City

River

Winter has come to an end and we’ve been cooped up in the house too long. Don’t get us wrong, there are few things more breathtaking than our beautiful state blanketed in snow, but let’s be honest…we’re itching to get outside!

A sea of blooming Redbud and Dogwood Trees coupled with a clear blue sky and sunshine set the perfect scene for exploring Jefferson City! Missouri’s capital city offers visitors plenty to discover as warmer weather nears.

The nation’s largest rails-to-trails project, the Katy Trail, provides the perfect backdrop for families and people of all ages to capture the Missouri River’s majestic tree-lined bluffs, golden fields and quaint farmlands. Visitors will enjoy the peaceful surroundings as they walk, bike or jog this picturesque trail while taking in the splendor of Missouri’s natural habitats.

Katy Trail State Park - Jefferson City, MO

Whether you’re trekking east or west, be sure to head across the Missouri River Pedestrian/Bike Bridge at Jefferson City, while enjoying stunning views of the Capitol building overlooking the glistening water. A bike plaza welcomes cyclists with informational directories, benches and a place to safely park your bike while enjoying “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town” as named by Rand McNally.

If you want to use Jefferson City as the starting point for your outdoor adventure, don’t worry about hauling a bike to town. Red Wheel Bike Shop offers visitors plenty of rental options with its convenient downtown location. Navigate the trails or take a leisurely cruise around the city streets. Guests will enjoy the close proximity to historic attractions, hotels and charming boutiques.

Just up the street is Paddy Malone’s Irish Pub, a local favorite serving up flavorful dishes along with the best selection of Irish whiskeys and beer in Central Missouri. Take advantage of the outdoor patio and friendly atmosphere while resting up for more fun on wheels.

Red Wheel Bike Stop- Jefferson City.
Red Wheel Bike Stop- Jefferson City.

If the itinerary includes camping out, wake up early to take advantage of a stunning sunrise over the Missouri River. The Carl R. Noren river access offers the perfect vantage point to admire this ambiance. Pack your fishing gear and a picnic basket and prepare for relaxation.

Wrap up the afternoon with a truly unique experience with a tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary. This iconic landmark, a staple attraction for every visitor, opened its doors in 1836 and decommissioned in 2004 as the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi. The prison is most notably famous for housing inmates such as heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston; notorious con artist, Pretty Boy Floyd; and escapee James Earl Ray, who later assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. Explore behind “the walls” with a history or ghost tour from March to November. Advanced registration is recommended at www.MissouriPenTours.com or by calling (866) 998-6998.

Visit Jefferson City and let the Show-Me State show you an unforgettable time! For additional information on outdoor adventures or to start planning your trip call (800) 769-4183 or go to www.VisitJeffersonCity.com. For camping information call the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at (573) 634-6482.

Written by Jordan Rowles, office coordinator for the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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