Today was a gorgeous spring day. I didn’t have a scheduled first, but I knew I wanted to be outside! I had an idea in mind and was mulling it over. Then Greg invited me for a walk on the Frisco Greenway Trail in Joplin. Walking the trail AND riding my bike on it are both on my list of new experiences and today was perfect for a walk.
The Frisco Greenway Trail, called The Frisco by most people, is a “rails to trails” project in the Joplin – Webb City area. This trail runs along a portion of the former St. Louis/San Francisco railway (the Frisco) which played an important role in the development of Joplin and Webb City. The railway was abandoned in 1990 and the rails and ties removed. What’s left is a solid raised bed, topped with gravel, that is perfect for walking, running or biking. I drive by one of the trail heads frequently and I’ve always wanted to walk or bike the trail. This year, I will do both!
From northern Joplin, to southern Webb City, the trail winds through scenic woodlands, stretching 4 miles from start to finish. There are trail heads at either end and one midway, located off of Zora and St. Louis Avenues. It is from this trail head that we began our trek, back toward Joplin.
What a beautiful walk. Other people were out enjoying a stroll, run or bike ride today. Everyone was courteous and intent on what they were doing. I love being in nature. And I was surprised that we quickly moved away from residential areas. Only trees and creeks stretched out on either side as we walked. The sun was warm, the breeze refreshing and the trees just beginning to show hints of green. Birds sang and called out from the tree tops. I couldn’t tell we were any where near a city.
Smaller side trails disappeared into the woods and looked inviting to explore. On another day I’ll do that. Benches were conveniently placed along the trail. I shared one for a few minutes with a young man. Other than a polite hello, there was no need to speak. We were quietly companionable, him enjoying a book, me enjoying the surrounding trees and the cooling breeze.
We didn’t walk more than a mile or a mile and a half out and then the same distance back to the car, however it was so good to be outside, so good to feel the sun on my face. I was very content with that distance and my legs will thank me later. Each time I walk the trail, I’ll go further! And very soon, I’ll dust off the bicycle that’s been in the garage for years and bike the trail and journey down some of the side trails. It’s time to dust off the explorer in me too.