New Website Enhances Missouri Trail Experience

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COLUMBIA - American Trails, the largest American trail resource, rated Missouri as 2013's "Best Trails State."

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Winning states are recognized every two years based on how the trails are promoted and improved.

Missouri state parks have almost 1,000 miles of trails.

Nicholas Watanabe lives in Columbia and interacts with local trails everyday.

"I come here twice a day to walk my dog," he said.

Watanabe said Missouri is deserving of the recognition.

"Missouri has done a good job maintaining the trails, you can see all the trail conversions they do," he said. "It's easy, pretty much, for everyone to access."

The Missouri Parks and Recreation Association launched a website earlier this month that organizes Missouri trails based on schedule, location, and ability.

On the website, people can type in their city, county or zip code and search for trails as well as what each trail allows and disallows.

Missouri Park and Recreation Association Executive Director, Jan Neitzert said she hopes the website will grow with time.

"The website exhibits the ground floor of this amazing resource," she said. "As more agencies and organization upload their data, it will grow to become the premier resource for those looking for local activity."

Watanabe said he think the website will help trails attract more people.

"I think it is good for them to promote parks and trails," he said. "It would be nice to get more people out here."

The association said while the website is still a work in progress and its goal is to account for every Missouri trail.