Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Jasper County, MO

  • Published 2022/11/01

Situated in Missouri’s southwestern corner, Jasper County is one of the state’s 114 counties.

The county was formed in 1841 and named after William Jasper, a prominent figure in the American Revolution.

According to the 2020 census, the county has a population of 122,761.

Carthage serves as the county seat, while Joplin is the largest city in the area.

Jasper County has been the location of many historical battles during the American Civil War.

Jasper has numerous historical and natural landmarks, including the Middle West Hotel and the Historic District of Downtown Webb City.

Enjoy your stay and try out the 15 best things to do in Jasper County, Missouri.

Explore Red Oak II

View of Red Oak II

Nick Fox /

Red Oak II, by renowned artist Lowell David, is a nostalgic throwback to a more carefree and joyful era.

Located at Kafir Rd, Carthage, Missouri, Red Oak II is a fantastic spot for Instagrammable photos and relaxation.

It’s a tourist attraction, art exhibit, and rural village all rolled into one.

View of Red Oak II

Jon Bilous /

The idea started in 1974 when artist Lowell Davis decided to return to the rural areas of southwestern Missouri after working in the city.

Some of these deserted buildings in Red Oak and the surrounding areas were relocated to Davis’s farm, where he began rehabilitating them.

He transformed the whole area into a large canvas and turned the buildings into artwork.

View of Red Oak II

BD Images /

Davis’ property grew into its little town over time, and he eventually named it Red Oak II.

All the facilities are privately owned, and houses, shops, and even a museum-like collection are kept in pristine condition by their respective owners.

For something completely one-of-a-kind, check out the Red Oak II.

Have Fun at Cunningham Park

Cunningham Park can be found at West 26th Street and South Maiden Lane intersection in Joplin, Missouri.

Formerly known as Helicopter Park, it was devastated on May 22, 2011, when an EF5 tornado tore through Joplin.

However, with the support of contributors and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television show, volunteers were able to rebuild the park’s play area and basketball court in October 2011.

A wooden play area designed to replicate Joplin during its mining era is among the new additions to the park.

It will remind you of a set from a classic Western.

A new, three-story plastic playground set is available on the park’s northern side for the thrill-seeking kids who frequent the park.

If you want to unwind, head to the park’s center, where there is a koi pond and a waterfall pond.

Prepare a few hours to play and explore the different park facilities.

Enjoy the Cool Waters of Grand Falls

Cool Waters of Grand Falls

jaimie tuchman /

Grand Falls is a beautiful waterfall plunging from a 163-foot cliff, with swimming and fishing available nearby creek pools.

Grand Falls is a popular tourist destination in Missouri because of its reputation as the state’s largest continually flowing natural waterfall.

It is not far from Wildcat Park and may be reached through Shoal Creek.

Cool Waters of Grand Falls

Dolos /

Water for the city of Joplin comes from a reservoir created by an artificial dam above the falls.

A ledge of solid chert rock, 163 feet in width, forms the natural falls.

The natural pools around the Falls are open for swimming and fishing.

You can get to Grand Falls via Riverside Drive, with a tiny gravel parking area.

Stop by for a little break to enjoy the beautiful natural landscape and get some much-needed rest.

You can find Grand Falls at Riverside Drive, Joplin, Missouri.

Cool Waters of Grand Falls

jaimie tuchman /

Appreciate the Past at Joplin History & Mine

The Joplin History & Mineral Museum is dedicated to the mining industry and features displays of the town’s history and mineral collections.

It’s in the heart of Joplin, Missouri, and the museum documents the region’s mining history.

Its exciting displays and exhibits make it a fantastic location to spend the whole afternoon in Joplin.

In addition, the museum shows historical artifacts and mineral collections that will help future generations learn about Joplin’s cultural and economic background and the Tri-State Mining District.

Exciting information and fun activities for youngsters are guaranteed.

There are two entirely different museums there that you can visit.

The Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum is a must-visit for any geology buffs searching for a fascinating look at the region’s mineral history, featuring examples of lead and zinc ores.

In contrast, the museum provides an overview of the region’s geology and geochemistry and showcases mining techniques employed between 1870 and 1960.

Visit them at S Schifferdecker Ave, Joplin, Missouri, and explore the area’s rich history.

Experience Exciting Sporting Events at the Joplin Athletic Complex

Joplin Athletic Complex is a series of ball fields nestled behind Main Street, providing a relatively safe environment for locals to play. T

here are refreshment counters, and the entire facility is well-maintained.

Five different stadiums in the Joplin Athletic Complex can accommodate many sporting activities.

Recently, the turf was installed at the Wendell Redden baseball stadium.

Bermuda grass in the outfield has been overseeded with rye, and there are covered, wheelchair-accessible bleachers and press boxes with air conditioning.

In addition, the stadium holds many regional baseball championships.

Two full-sized and two smaller fields, perfect for children’s soccer, are available at the Hershewe Soccer Complex in the Joplin Athletic Complex.

The fields are natural grass and equipped with electronic scoreboards and lights.

The Association of Christian College Athletes (ACCA) National Soccer Championships and the Missouri Christian School Athletic Association State Championships are just a few of the championship games played there.

In addition, the park is ready to conduct fun runs and 5K races, and it also has playgrounds and covered pavilions for picnics.

Have fun at the Ocean Adventures Indoor Playground

If you want to take the kids somewhere cool this summer, consider Ocean Adventures Indoor Playground.

Their numerous ball pits and slides will provide hours of entertainment. It’s not just enjoyable for kids but also made so that parents can join in on the action.

In addition, it’s an excellent place for younger children because of how relaxed the atmosphere is.

The Fish In The Sea Play is a multi-level, ocean-themed playground with various fun attractions, such as a triple 26-foot slide into an 80,000-ball pit, spiral slide, mazes, tunnels, and more.

The Little Squirts Play is an excellent place for the kids to have fun.

This play space for toddlers features a small ball pit, a double slide, soft climbing equipment, and a rainbow climbing bridge.

In addition, this space features a water-themed padded surface separate from the main play area.

Each two-hour play session is followed by an hour of cleaning and sanitizing by their personnel to ensure everyone’s safety.

Head over to S Duquesne Rd, Joplin, Missouri.

Take a Stroll at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center

View of Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center

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Located in a conservation area in Joplin, Missouri, the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center is a popular destination for nature lovers.

Despite the thin, dry soil, many plants and animal life thrive in glades.

This Missouri state-run site displays plants and animals native to the chert glades and the neighboring aquatic and forest-savanna environments.

Chert glades, called after the bedrock on which they have formed, feature a unique assemblage of plants and animals that may be found elsewhere in the world.

View of Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center

zeezouuu /

Approximately $6 million in funding from the National Audubon Society, the city of Joplin, and the state of Missouri went into the center’s creation.

The Joplin can be reached in only 5 minutes, making this a convenient resting spot on the way.

It’s a great way to get some exercise while also seeing the sights.

They are located at 201 Riviera Dr, Joplin, Missouri.

Visit the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site

Carthage, Missouri, is home to the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site.

It occupies a 7.4-acre piece of state-owned land and designated as a historic site of the Battle of Carthage.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been in charge of the property since the state purchased it in 1990.

Since it was the first large-scale Civil War battle, 1861’s Battle of Carthage is historically significant.

During the Battle of Carthage, Union and Confederate forces camped in a nearby meadow and spring.

Today, what was once a site of a bloody battle is now a serene park.

The trail is well-marked, making the short walk an enjoyable way to get some fresh air and take in the scenery.

This quiet spot is located along E Chestnut St, Carthage, Missouri, and is perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

Have a Round of Golf at Schifferdecker Golf Course

If you’re looking for a fun round of golf in Joplin, Missouri, look no further than Schifferdecker Golf Course, the city’s only public 18-hole course.

Opened in 1922, it is located at the 7th Street and Schifferdecker Road intersection, right on the old Route 66.

This 6,123-yard, par-71 course has a USGA rating of 68.7 and is known for its pristine greens, Bermuda fairways, and affordable rates.

Throughout the year, various golf events are held at Schifferdecker, as it is one of the most well-known courses in the area.

They have hosted the Missouri Christian School Athletic Association State Golf Championships and the annual Joplin Golf Club Ozark Amateur in July.

In 2017, a modern simulator was installed to improve your game.

It’s like playing at a world-famous course; only you’re indoors where it’s nice and warm.

The pro store has everything you might need for a round of golf.

Their Clubhouse also features a snack bar and drinks for your convenience.

Have a Relaxing Walk at King Jack Park

With its 144 acres, King Jack Park is Webb City’s largest public green space.

This is an excellent place to let the kids be themselves and have fun.

The park at S. Main Street, Webb City, Missouri, also features a splash pad, walking trails, and playground equipment.

The Southwest Missouri Electric Railroad Association maintains a fleet of restored vehicles, including a 1920s-era trolley housed in the #1 trolley barn.

During events and programs in the park, visitors can ride the trolley around the park’s one-mile loop.

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to unwind, the lake is an excellent option because it has a lovely walking trail and is home to various local wildlife.

You will love taking your dog for walks around the park and lake.

A covered pavilion with picnic tables is available on hot days, and a clean, modern restroom is also available.

There is also an amphitheater and facilities for sports activities.

The Mining Days event center and outdoor amphitheater can be rented out for special events.

Stop for a Photo Op at the Route 66 Mural Park

View of Route 66 Mural Park

CJ Hanevy /

Route 66 Mural Park is a fantastic stopover spot with two enormous tile murals.

The idea came from Paul Whitehill, and the artists Chris Auckerman and Jon White worked with manufacturer Images In Tile USA to bring it to life.

The two murals are placed on the wall outside Pearl Hardware.

Bricks at Route 66 Mural Park

CJ Hanevy /

Take a picture in front of the red replica 1964 Corvette that sits immediately below the murals.

Stopping for a few minutes to admire this wall painting is well worth the effort if you happen to be driving through Joplin on Route 66.

It is situated close to the crossroads of Main and Seventh Streets.

Relieve the Past at the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum

A visit to the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum is a must for every history buff or Civil War enthusiast.

The museum’s showcase is a mural by local artist Andy Thomas measuring 7 ft. by 15 ft.

The museum commemorates the Civil War and the Battle of Carthage by focusing on the region of southwest Missouri.

The Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum is a must-see for any history buff, as it houses numerous artifacts and a detailed diorama of the battle itself.

One of the earliest battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Carthage, took place on July 5, 1861, and was won by the Confederacy.

The museum’s curator is first-rate and very knowledgeable about local history.

Visit them at Grant Street, Carthage, Missouri, for a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Enjoy a Round of Golf at Carthage Golf Course

Located at Richard Webster Dr in Carthage, Missouri, the 18-hole Par 71 Carthage Golf Course offers full service to its patrons. With a 121 slope rating from the back tees and a 108 from the front, this 120-acre course is no pushover.

Their meticulously kept course features two ponds, two winding creeks, more than 30 bunkers, and narrow fairways.

Carthage Golf Course offers a scenic setting surrounded by trees and rolling fairways where you can rekindle your love for golf.

There’s a pro shop, a snack bar, golf lessons, a driving range, and golf cart rentals.

The Carthage Golf Course is where people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy a round of golf together.

Go to Joe Becker Stadium for Local Baseball Action

The historic Joe Becker Stadium at 300 S High Ave, Joplin, Missouri, is a fantastic venue for baseball games.

There will be opportunities to view and cheer on home-team athletes.

Initially used by the Joplin Minors, the building has since welcomed the Joplin Outlaws, a college summer squad, and other teams.

Fireworks on Fridays make for a fantastic family night out.

Construction of the Joe Becker Stadium started in 1913 and has since been a favorite for local games.

Joe Becker Stadium had a $4.7 million rebuilding project in September 2014, led by Hanson Sports, Corner Greer Architects, and Crossland Construction.

The renovations to Joe Becker Stadium included new stadium-style seating for fans, suites, locker rooms, restrooms, team dugouts, lighting, and other facilities.

In addition, the stadium’s infield has recently been upgraded with SprintTurf.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Schermerhorn Park

An area along Shoal Creek was given to the city in 1922, eventually becoming Schermerhorn Park.

It is located on S Main St in Galena, Kansas, less than 30 minutes from Jasper County, Missouri.

In Schermerhorn Park, visitors can view and even climb on some of the oldest rocks in Kansas.

Approximately 345 million years ago, a shallow sea covered the region and deposited these limestones during the Mississippian subperiod.

You can find some of the rarest wildlife in Kansas at Schermerhorn Park.

So whether you drop in for a peek or stroll, you’re in for a treat at Schermerhorn Park.

Final Thoughts

Jasper County, Missouri, is rich in history and offers various attractions and activities.

A celebration called the Maple Leaf Festival has been held annually in the county seat of Carthage during the first whole week of October since 1966.

The festival is named after the town’s abundant maple trees, whose leaves turn red, orange, and yellow in fall.

While its biggest city Joplin, boasts lovely parks, trolleys, railroads, antique malls, beautiful museums, a waterfall, and more.

There is always something for everyone in Jasper County, Missouri.

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