Our family has struggled with illness this week, but we really wanted to get out and do a weekend hike, so we chose one close to home and stroller-friendly. Jasper State Recreation Site is located just outside of Springfield and is great for a winter walk with kids.
Jasper State Recreation Site (I’ll just call it Jasper Park after this) is closed from Sept 1 until May 1, but there’s a small parking area outside the gate and you’re welcome to park there and walk in. There’s no cost while the park is closed, but there are also no amenities such as bathrooms. During the summer, when the park is open, there is a parking fee, but all amenities are operational.
After the playground, we loaded up the stroller again and headed deeper into the park. The roads in Jasper State Park are all paved, so it’s friendly for strollers. It’s also a dog-friendly park; they even have a fenced-in dog park! We don’t have a dog ourselves, but we did see several people walking dogs.
Jasper State Park has four picnic shelters, all of which are reservable. Shelter #4 is the biggest, but Shelter #2 is the prettiest, next to the river.
As we walked along with our kids, we stopped to explore. My daughter picked up a white leaf and wondered if it was real, so we had a discussion about what happens to leaves in the fall and why they change color. My son picked up a couple of sticks. And our baby, in the stroller, reached to touch the leaves of a cedar.
Jasper State Recreational Site is perfect for a winter walk with kids. It’s safe, wide open, stroller-friendly, and has a playground. There’s also a set of swings at the far end of the park. And while you can see the river, it’s easy to stay far enough way to ensure the safety of little ones.