This article is presented in partnership with Visit Columbia.

Whether you’re a nature nut or just dipping your toes into the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone to explore in Columbia. And during a time when most people are looking to stay as far away from others as possible, there’s plenty of room to spread out with miles of trails, acres of parks and waterfront fun.

Hit the Trails

Columbia is home to 63 miles of trails and links to even more that can take hikers and bikers all across the state of Missouri. For a quick but scenic jaunt, the Scott’s Branch Trail is 1.7 miles long and wonderfully wooded. A little longer, the Bear Creek Trail spans 4.8 miles and links two of Columbia’s popular parks — Cosmo Park and Albert-Oakland Park. And for even more fresh air, the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail was ranked the second-best urban trail in the nation by USA Today in 2015. This 8.9-mile trail links up to the 240-mile Katy Trail, which escorts outdoor enthusiasts throughout the state, including through parts of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Stacked with State Parks

If state parks are on your bucket list, don’t miss a visit to Columbia. Finger Lakes State Park has trails and motocross tracks, as well as places to kayak, paddleboard and canoe. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park features popular trails and even caves, like the breathtaking Devil’s Icebox.

Get Some Outdoor Entertainment

If you’re looking for some riverside revelry, pay a visit to Cooper’s Landing. The beloved marina/campground/music venue hybrid can be reached by road or by trail and visitors will find food trucks, drinks and plenty of outdoor fun. They often have local musicians play on their outdoor stage, so be sure to check their calendar so you don’t miss your favorite bands.

Stay Safe

Please note, all visitors and residents of Columbia are required to wear masks in public places (WEAR – ordinance enforced). We also encourage maintaining a six-foot distance between people not from the same household (WATCH), as well as frequent and thorough hand washing and sanitizing (WASH).