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Outdoor Initiatives


Outdoor Initiatives provides adventure trips, outdoor recreation programs & education at an affordable price to the community. Leave No Trace guidelines are followed on all excursions. Scholarships may be available, call 833-8647. Office location: Valley Water Mill Park, 2450 E. Valley Water Mill Rd.


  1. Giboney Cave Tours


    Explore the myths, facts, and history of Giboney Cave at Doling Park. Shoes get muddy on Walking Tours, and cavers get very muddy and wet on Tunnel Tours. Bring a headlamp or flashlight, or use one of ours. Dates are subject to weather and bat activity.Register by Friday prior to each tour date. Register online.

    For ages 5 yrs. and up (5-17 yrs. with an adult)
    Sept. 14, Oct. 19
    Sat., 1, 2, and 3 p.m.
    Tunnel Tours are only offered at 3 p.m.
    Walking Tour: $5/Person, $16/Family of 4
    Tunnel Tour: $7/Person, $24/Family of 4

  2. Fall Hiking Series


    Hit the trail with us this fall, exploring some of the finest scenery in the Ozarks. These trips are moderate-to strenuous in difficulty, so physical fitness is required. Transportation provided. Bring your own lunch, snacks and water. Register online by Fri. before each hike.

    15 yrs. and up (15-17 yrs. with an adult)
    Sat., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
    Sept. 14: Sam’s Throne (2 miles)
    Oct. 12: Yellow Rock Loop, Devil’s Den State Park (3 miles)
    Nov. 16: Sandstone Trail, Prairie State Park (5 miles)
    Dec. 7: Natural Tunnel Trail, Bennett Springs State Park (7.5 miles)
    $20/Person

  3. Outdoor Adventure Book Club


    The Springfield-Greene County Library District is heading into the great outdoors! Join the Library and Outdoor Initiatives for this series of outdoor adventure-themed book discussions paired with a related outdoor activities in parks. Space is limited. Registration required by the day before at 417-883-5341.

    18 yrs. and up
    Thur., 5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
    Sept. 12: “Missouri Caves in History and Legend” by H. Dwight Weaver, with Giboney Cave Tour at Doling Park
    Oct. 10: “Haunted Hikes” by Maren Horjus, with hike at Lost Hill Park
    Nov. 14: Discuss your favorite outdoor recipe with Dutch Oven Cooking Program, at Valley Water Mill Park.
    Free

  4. Fall Backpacking Trip


    Backpack and camp on one of the most picturesque sections of the Ozark Trail at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. Includes amazing scenery in the St. Francois Mountains, passing through breathtaking Mina Sauk Falls and the Devil’s Toll Gate rock formation. This is a moderate-to-strenuous-level overnight backpacking trip, covering 13 miles over two days, so physical fitness is required Transportation provided. Major gear available for rent. Suggested gear lists and meal planning help is available. Register online by Oct. 24.

    15 yrs. and up (15-17 yrs. with an adult)
    Oct. 26-27
    Sat., 7 a.m.- Sun., 8 p.m.
    $60/Person

  5. The Ultimate Springfield Cave Tour


    A full day of caving adventure in the Springfield area, including a hiking tour that highlights the outside of the caves at Ritter Springs Park, a walking tour through Giboney Cave in Doling Park, and a guided boat tour through Sequiota Cave in Sequiota Park. Bring your own snacks and water. Transportation provided. Register online by Nov. 22.

    5 yrs. and up (5-17 yrs. with an adult)
    Nov. 23-24
    Sat. Tour 1: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
    Sat. Tour 2: Noon-4:30 p.m.
    Sun. Tour 1: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
    Sun. Tour 2: Noon-4:30 p.m.
    $15/Person