Columbia, Missouri is filled with some fun outdoor activities waiting to be discovered by you. Although it can be challenging to find something new to do in the great outdoors from time to time, our fellow Missouri state community takes advantage and always finds something fun to do. The awesome areas around Columbia offer its community the opportunity to experience life in Missouri on a different level. CoMo is a place where we can explore the depths of our country at little to no cost.

Here are five great outdoor activities around Columbia, Missouri.

Visit Stephens Lake Park

Location: 2001 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201

Summer Swimming Dates: May 1–September 30

This awesome park has a lot to offer throughout the year. Let’s just put it this way: It’s a park fit for every season.

During the summer and warmer seasons, you can enjoy some amazing waterfalls, spray grounds, a playground, fishing, and swimming at the lake. It’s a pleasant spot to enjoy some time with the family under the sun. The amenities in this location are of much help during hot days and help make this one of the best spots for a day out at the lake.

Note: Make sure to check the lake quality report before swimming!

Winter Skating Dates

As long as a 4-inch layer of ice covers the lake, you can enjoy skating at the park.

You might want to get your best winter clothes out, lace up your skates, and head on down to Stephens Lake Park after the water in the lake freezes. You can skate across the lake with your family or a lovely date.

Sledding Dates

As long as a 6-inch layer of snow covers Columbia, you can enjoy sledding at the park.

You don’t have to worry if skating isn’t your thing. The park allows its visitors to have fun and ride their sled in the snow. It’s a great spot to have a snowball fight, build a snowman, or make a snow angel. Whatever the case may be, Stephens Lake Park turns into the perfect winter wonderland that everyone can admire.

Fishing at the Lake

When in Columbia, you can choose to go fishing at any of the public fishing spots in the area. Of course, make sure you have a state fishing license if you’re planning to catch something. The local bodies of water have some great fishing spots in the area. You just have to know or learn where to cast!

Our fine lakes have proven to be excellent for fishing year around. One of the most amazing fishing experiences you can have in Columbia is going ice fishing at the lakes and reel in a big one. Of course, the authorities have to make sure you’re safe when you go ice fishing, so they make sure there is a 4-inch layer of ice covering the lakes before allowing anybody to fish.

The following are some of the best bodies of water to go fishing in Columbia:

  • Cosmo-Bethel Lake – 4500 Bethel St.
  • Twin Lakes – 2500 Chapel Hill Road
  • Lake of the Woods – 6700 St. Charles Road
  • Antimi Lake – 1615 Bus. Loop 70 W.
  • Stephens Lake – 2001 E. Broadway
  • Phillips Lake – 5050 Bristol Lake Parkway
  • Nickell Lake – 1800 Parkside Drive
  • Nifong Lake – 2900 E. Nifong Blvd.
  • American Legion Lake – 602 S. Legion Lane

Fishing Times: 4:30 a.m.–Close

Allowed Fishing Methods

Pole and Line Fishing Only

Note: There are fishing limitations, so fish at your own risk. You also need to have your Missouri fishing permit to partake in the activity.

For more information, visit CoMo

Enjoy Some of the Mizzou Sports

The University of Missouri is stationed right at home and has excellent outdoor athletic competitions to enjoy. You can go out and support their tennis, baseball, softball, football, soccer, or track and field teams for most of the year. Grabbing some tickets to the athletic events will help you experience how the University of Missouri does things around the area. It’s an inexpensive way of getting out and joining the excitement of collegiate sports.

Not only is it affordable to attend athletic competitions, but the football stadium and other game arenas are well built. There is no better feeling than sitting back at a state-of-the-art building, watching top-quality teams leaving it all on the field.

Be sure to go out and enjoy all the festivities during game days. You can join the fun at campus, where there are usually pep rallies and decorations. The Mizzou supporters are always ready to cheer on their athletes during the good and bad moments. It’s always admirable to experience the loyalty of the University of Missouri crowd. You won’t want to miss out on being part of the energetic crowd supporting its team.

Explore Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Location: 5901 S. Highway 163, Columbia, MO 65203

The Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is waiting to be explored and enjoyed by everyone. The scenery at this state park is something every Missourian must experience at least once in their lifetime. It is home to a few species of rare plants and animals that can only be found in this region of the United States.

One of the park’s signature features is the Devil’s Icebox. This is a double sinkhole located within the park. It can’t be explored because it’s closed down to protect the wildlife that lives inside the cave, but it is definitely a sight worth watching. The park also contains Connor’s Cave, which is open for exploration to the public. Here, you can go in by yourself and explore the underground side of the park. This change in nature will have you admiring both ecosystems that depend on the park.

After a nice long adventure at the park, you can relax and enjoy a good meal at the picnic shelters by the playgrounds. If you’re lucky, you might be able to witness the bats coming out of their cave around dusk. If you have never seen how bats emerge from their caves, you will fall in love with the intriguing scenery.

You can enjoy any of the following park activities:

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Cave Exploring
  • Bird Watching
  • Horseback Riding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Camping

Enjoy Albert-Oakland Park

Location: 1900 Blue Ridge Road, Columbia, MO 65202

Albert-Oakland Park offers some of the best amenities in the CoMo area. It offers traditional and distinct sports fields, aquatics, picnic areas, and great trails. The park is well maintained and perfect for a day out with the family to have some friendly sports competitions.

Albert-Oakland’s disk golf course is pretty fun to play. It consists of two 18-hole courses ready to be played on. Disk golf is a frisbee version of golf for all ages to enjoy. Have fun competing at the park and be safe!

This Columbia park also has two nice trails to enjoy from (Bear Creek Trail and Albert-Oakland Trail and Fitness Circuit). These trails are great for biking and taking a long run around the park. The trails are also great for bird-watching and enjoying the scenery.

At the end of your day, you can relax and have a cookout at this Columbian point of interest. The sunset is always nice because of the trees that are located within the park area.

You can enjoy any of the following park activities:

  • Exercising
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Barbecue
  • Swimming
  • Disk Golf
  • Pickleball
  • Hiking
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