The Johnson County Loop tours the area’s natural beauty and history. Begin on the grounds of Warrensburg’s Old Town on North Main Street and visit the 1838 Old Courthouse, site of the Old Drum trial. The site includes the 1913 Elm School, the Johnson County Museum, and the Mary Miller Smiser Heritage Library.

The Old Drum trial put Warrensburg on the map as home of “Man’s Best Friend,” a term coined by George Graham Vest in his eulogy delivered in his closing arguments at the trial over compensation of the shooting of a favorite hound, Old Drum, by a neighbor’s nephew. Old Drum was named the Missouri historical dog in 2017.

Stop by Raging Bull Steakouse, 433 E. Russell Ave., for lunch or dinner. Owners Todd Dale and Clif Castleman renovated a family-owned building with a nod to nostalgia. The food focuses on dry-aged meats and quality ingredients to create dishes a cut above the norm, with prime hand-cut beef, custom stuffed chicken breasts, brisket and chuck blended burgers topped with almost anything, and some of the best slow-smoked prime rib in central Missouri.

Head west on Highway 50 to Route 131, then south through Holden to Route 2 and east to Chilhowee to the Rock Island Trail, a biking and hiking trail that follows the old Rock Island Railroad.

Work east on Route 2, then Route EE to Route 23 and head north toward Whiteman Air Force Base, the home of the 509th Bomb Wing and the B-2 Stealth bomber. Head back west on Route DD and visit Knob Noster State Park to enjoy the great outdoors.

This route can be enjoyed in a few hours, checking out the scenic beauty, shopping, and cuisine of Johnson County.

Points of Interest

1. Johnson County Historical Complex, Warrensburg
2. Old Drum Statue, Johnson County Courthouse, Warrensburg
3. Blind Boone Park, Warrensburg
4. University of Central Missouri’s McClure Archives & University Museum, Warrensburg
5. Raging Bull Steakouse, Warrensburg
6. Rock Island Spur, Chilhowee Trailhead
7. Whiteman Air Force Base, Knob Noster
8. Knob Noster State Park, Knob Noster