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Explore the best rated trails in Carthage, MO. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Pittsburg East-West Connector Trail and Ruby Jack Trail. With more than 6 trails covering 62 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
We parked at the trail head on St. Louis street which is a gravel lot with portapotty and rode south which was packed gravel with some up hill and down hill area near the creek. This area makes you feel like you are way out in the country with woods on both sides. We did see a rider on horseback and pedestrians. The trail head at the south end had a larger paved parking lot but from a quick look I am not sure how safe that neighborhood’s is. Riding north towards web city the terrain was flat and the gravel was smoother but there was a lot of housing development on both sides so not much of a country feel at most intersections cars stopped to let us cross which was nice.
All in all I think the trail is good. I enjoyed my day and had a good ride. I use a road bike with hybrid tires. Initially I tried to start in Carl Junction at the far west end of the trail which was actually Smithfield on the map. The only way you can ride on that section of it is if you have a mountain bike and there’s nowhere to park however if you go into Carl Junction right by the high school that is a good place to start. County Road 200 has a trail head and a place that you can park and you can go either direction on the trail. From Carl Junction East the trail is P gravel that is packed good with the exception of just a few spots. I saw a total of probably 10 people while I was on the trail mostly just north of Oronogo and Webb City when I was riding otherwise the trail is quite secluded. There is a lot of shade and the trail is fairly wide most of the way it narrows occasionally but you can easily pass people¿ everyone
A friend suggested riding in Joplin so searched TrailLink to see what we could find. Took a friend, his wife and son up from NW Arkansas on October 10 to explore. The trail reminded us of the Katy Trail with the gravel surface so that started the day just right. With the notes from your site and our GPS navigation, found the trailhead pretty easily. Early morning coolness made this a fun adventure overall. The two things that my riding partners both suggested would make this easier for others would be to see about more signage around the end of the trail about 4 plus miles in as the trail just kind of stopped with out much to identify if we should keep going or turn around. Some nice pedestrians told us we were at the end and were so nice that it really helped us to finish on a positive note then turn around. There was one major street crossing that did not have any lights or devices to have traffic stop for slower riders or children. We had an 8 year old with us so that was a safety concern thta could be easily added. We may be spoiled by all the work in NW Arkansas trails for the local Greenway. Overall, a great morning start before heading over to the Ruby Jack trail.
A friend suggested riding in Joplin so hopped on TrailLink to see what we could find. Ruby Jack sounded interesting and it did not disappoint! Put in at Carl Junction on October 10 and rode to Carthage for about a 25 mile round trip. Cool morning temps helped make this a great trail to explore. I highly recommend giving this a look and have already recommended it to several friends. Just a little over an hour from NW Arkansas so easily reached and lots of food options for post ride nutrition!!! Since I was solo, did not go much past the rough patch going west. Will explore that more in the future!
Well mantener and friendly people along the trail - walking, running, and biking.
Very impressive that this trail is kept up by volunteers. Very few loose gravel spots where a hybrid bike can get questionable. Not really much to see, but very few road crossings and you can safely ride from Carthage to Car Junction.
I biked this trail May 26, 2021. Except for about 100 feet of trail at mile point 4.2 (just carry your bike across the railroad tracks and bike to the north edge of the short unfinished section), this is a great trail from about mile point 2.5 all the way to the eastern end in Carthage.
The 2.5 mile section from the state line to near Carl Junction is (currently) only recommended for good bikers on mountain bikes (the gravel is thick in points and the trail is mostly un-cleared of brush).
I did the complete 16 mile trail on my hybrid bike, but I found the western-most 2.5 mile section a bit tricky.
I would recommend biking from the Carthage trailhead to Carl Junction and returning to Carthage. This gives you a nice 25 mile ride.
The Joplin Trails Coalition expects to have the entire 16-mile trail completed by sometime in 2022.
We parked at the paved Willard Trailhead at 107 E. Jackson Street and headed towards Springfield. We were only interested in a short out-and-back ride on the asphalt section and that section of the trail served its purpose. We have hybrid bicycles. The trail was in pretty good shape. There was one section where tree roots uprooted the pavement and one or two trees could have used pruning. Part of the trail is shady. If you are looking for a scenic trail, this one isn’t it. The section we rode goes through industrial areas – concrete factory, airport, trucking business, mini storage before ending at the Kearny trailhead in Springfield. Except for the Willard trailhead which has restrooms, picnic area and bicycle shop, there are no amenities along this section of the trail. We would recommend the pizza place across from the Willard trailhead – the pizza was excellent!
Started at Bolivar and turned around at mile marker 31 since it was not paved after this point, getting dark, and was muddy! Definitely take detour when it says so you don't have to backtrack. Not safe to cross the highway there!
This ride never gets old
A very nice ride. This probably has already been said somewhere but the first 8 miles are pavement and very very comfortable. I did 12 miles today and turned around, but I’m setting a goal to do all 37 miles sometime.
The wife and I have just started walking, as a means of much needed exercise. I am a former powerlifter and she was once an athlete, in golden years past. We have been walking by Shoal Creek, a great walk, and it is nearer to our house, but once we walked this trail we both fell in love. Great walk. Even when it is busy, there are quiet moments to see nature and wildlife. Most people you pass say hello, nod, or let you pet their dog. That may just be the people of Joplin, but still it is an incredibly beautiful, friendly, and surprisingly strenuous walk. We are gonna do the whole thing soon, and once we do she says we are going to mountain bike the whole thing. What a great natural spot to escape to. Joplin is blessed with such beautiful natural settings.
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