Outdoor Initiatives

Hiking on a Trail
Outdoor Initiatives provides adventure trips, family programs, and outdoor education at an affordable price to the community. Leave No Trace guidelines are followed on all excursions. Scholarships may be available. Check out our upcoming programs below.

Giboney Cave Tours

Explore the myths, facts and history of Doling Park’s Giboney Cave. Shoes will get muddy on Walking Tours, and you will get very muddy and wet on the in-depth Tunnel Tours. Tours subject to cancellation, due to bats and weather. Register by Fri. prior to each tour date.
Doling Park 417-833-8647
Age: 6 yrs. and up
Date: Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 12
Time: Sat., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
Fee: Walking Tour: $4 / Person
$12 / Family of 4
Runnel Tour: $6 / Person
$20 / Family of 4

Buffalo River Trail Backpacking Trip

Experience one of the most beautiful trails in the area on a 3 night, moderate to strenuous level backpacking trip covering the entire BRT, which is 37 miles in length. We will hike approximately 12.3 miles each day, camping the first night at a camp ground in order to get an early start the first day on the trail. Being in good physically fit condition is a must! Transportation, 2 meals, water filtration, and major gear included. Gear lists and meal planning help are available upon registration.

Register Online
Trip Flyer
Age: 18 yrs. and up
Date: Oct. 20 - 23
Time: Thurs. 3 p.m. - Sun., 8 p.m​.
Fee: $50 / Person

Elephant Rock Day Trip

Explore the natural wonders of Elephant Rocks, and Johnson's Shut-Ins while enjoying the beautiful fall colors on this full day trip. Pack a lunch and water, and plan for a short dinner stop. Register by October 11.

Trip Flyer
Age: All Ages

(17 yrs. & under with an adult) 
Date: Wed., Oct. 12
Time: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Fee: $15 / Person

Hawksbill Crag Hike

Hike to one of the most photographed natural feautures in the Ozarks, and enjoy the amazing views in person. This hike will be 3 miles roundtrip, and is great for hikers of all ages. Bring your own lunch, snacks, and water. Major gear provided. Register by Nov. 4.

Trip Flyer
Age: 10 yrs. and up

(10 - 17 with an adult)
Date: Nov. 5
Time: Sat., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fee: $10 / Person

Big Bluff & Goat Trail Hike

Join us for an easy-paced hike to view big bluff, the tallest sheer bluff between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. A spectacular view of the Buffalo River is also in store for you. This hike will be 6 miles round-trip. Bring your own lunch, snacks, and water. Major gear provided. Dress for winter hiking conditions. Register by Dec. 2.

Register Online
Trip Flyer
Age: 12 yrs. and up

(12 - 17 yrs. with an adult)
Date: Dec. 3
Time: Sat., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fee: $10 / Person

Create Your Own Trip

If you don't want to go on a preplanned trip, or have all of the gear that you need, this is the option for you. We have all major gear needed for outdoor excursions, available to rent at an affordable price, and we can help you plan your trip, if needed. Gear and equipment are available as long as it is not being used for a trip or program. Gear rental prices coming soon.


Topics may include:
  • Backpacking
  • Bat Awareness and Education
  • Bat Flights
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Cave Awareness
  • Cave Restoration
  • Cave Tours
  • Day Trips

  • Dutch Oven Cookery
  • Endangered Species
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Leave No Trace
  • Open Water and Small Watercraft Safety
  • Outdoor Safety and Survival
  • Paddle Boarding

Additional Information & Forms