Tag Archives: Outdoors

Winter Outdoor Fun in Columbia!

November 16, 2012

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Just because the temperatures get colder in the winter months doesn’t mean you can’t still get outside and enjoy yourself! Maybe you want to put jingle bells on your shoes and run a 5K or perhaps cross country skiing on a quiet trail is more your speed. No matter your interests, get outside on your next winter visit to Columbia!

Cross Country Skiing

There are few spots more peaceful after a snowfall than the MKT Trail. The trail is made of crushed limestone, so instead of plowing snow, the trail is open for cross country skiing. Take in the beautiful scenery throughout Columbia and enjoy the quiet of the MKT.

Sledding and Ice Skating

If you’re looking for a little more noise, head to Stephens Lake Park to check out Columbia’s home for winter sports. On the east side of the park, hit the sledding hill when snowfall is at least 4-6 inches deep. Also, when the lake is deemed to have thick enough ice, it opens for skating! Check out the outdoor winter sports safety tips here and be sure to check online to find out if the lake is open to the public for skating.

Winter Races

Ready to run? Columbia has three races coming up this holiday season, so lace up your shoes for one of these!

Advanced Radiology Turkey Trax 5k – Columbia

Thursday, November 22, 8:30 am – 10:00 am at Rock Bridge High School

Thanksgiving can challenge any routine, whether it be cooking, family events or travel. The TurkeyTrax 5K Run provides friends and family a chance to do something active before they start their traditional Thanksgiving celebration. More importantly, the TurkeyTrax Run is designed specifically to benefit a select group of local charities – you choose the one you want to support! This year’s charities are Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri, Heart of Missouri Girls on the Run, and Children’s Miracle Network.

Jingle Bell 5K for Arthritis – Columbia

Saturday, December 8, 8:00 am – 9:30 am at 6th and Ash St.

Get in the spirit this holiday season at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis®. Be one of the thousands of runners and walkers who hit the nation’s pavements, pathways and parks this winter to fight arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk® is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving

First Night 5K – Columbia

Monday, December 31, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm at 19 S 6th St

Ring in 2013 with this downtown 5K put on by First Night Columbia. Weave your way through downtown and the University of Missouri campus then join the celebration of First Night!

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Now that you know what your options are, bundle up and head outside for some winter fun in Columbia!

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Uniquely Columbia: The MKT Trail

October 25, 2012

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Only in Columbia…

Columbia is fortunate enough to have an abundance of green spaces throughout the city. With over 60 city parks, there’s always somewhere to take a jog, play with your kids or spread out a picnic blanket. One of the hallmarks of the city’s parks and trails system is the MKT Trail.

Winding 8.9 miles through the city, the crushed limestone surface of the MKT Trail is built in the old railbed of the MKT train line. With five access points, most with parking next to the trail, the MKT is ideal for a quick jog or a day long adventure.

The picturesque Flat Branch Park marks the beginning of the MKT.

The trail begins at the Flat Branch Park trailhead and weaves through neighborhoods, nature areas and open spaces.

If you happen through the Stadium section of the trail, make sure to walk through the parking area to explore the beautiful Marting Luther King Jr. Memorial at Battle Gardens. A mixture of sculpture and beautiful landscaping, the gardens are a peaceful spot to rest during your time on the trail.

The trail truly is an all-weather surface and is open for cross country skiing when snow falls. The quiet landscape, flat land and gorgeous scenery make it the perfect cross country skiing locale. Have a new kind of trail experience this winter.

After the MKT makes its nearly nine mile journey through Columbia, it meets with the statewide Katy Trail at the Hindman Junction in McBaine. From there, users can travel east or west on the Katy, which stretches over 225 miles across Missouri. Not only is the MKT Trail a uniquely Columbia experience, it also serves as a gateway to a national treasure in the Katy Trail. Next time you’re in town, hop on the MKT and see where it takes you.

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