Valley Water Mill Park
ElevationAscent: 87' 27 m
Descent: -85' -26 m
High: 1,271' 387 m
Low: 1,201' 366 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)
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“Outer loop of the Valley Water Mill Park”— Hiking Project Staff
Family Friendly Eastern shore of Lake is a paved trail, friendly to kids, strollers, wheelchairs. Access to 2 covered fishing piers. Several descriptive panels with history, geology, ecology, water information.
Starting at the south end of the park at the main parking lot, then circling the lake counterclockwise, below is an outline. The entire outer loop is approximately 1.5 miles long, or a little over 30 minutes at a brisk pace.
1) Paved parking for 20+ cars in front of the Watershed Center building
2) Hike starts next to the water near a wildlife observation blind shed
3) Walk on a dirt path through the woods and over two boardwalks over some swampy area. Birdhouses attached to trees and on a pole or two sticking up from the water near shore.
4) After crossing a small wooden bridge, the trail heads up
5) At the "Y", stay left for the slightly longer outer loop through the woods, or to the right to cut off the south end of the loop
6) Staying right, there is a short path that leads to a large platform lined with benches that overlooks Sanders Spring. You can see it bubbling up to the water's surface.
7) Staying left, reach a small hollow with wooden benches arranged in an arc toward the hollow where a group could pause and meet for a while.
8) Reach a small clearing that has been created. The outer loop and the cutoff rejoin here. This is near the top of the ridge/bluff along the west side of the lake.
9) Next is another short path that leads to a bluff over looking the lake. Careful! Loose rocks underfoot near the edge! Nice view!
10) Continue walking with glimpses of the water
11) Reach an open area with a large circle of tall native plants. Go left or right to go around the circle.
12) Start downhill where you come into view of the north end of the lake with a side spillway
13) A red metal bridge with a wooden deck arches over the spillway and leads you to the other side
14) Flat and paved the rest of the way as you walk south past two covered fishing piers
15) Near the end is a large "Lakeside Learning Station" building open on three sides
This park and facilities are a joint project of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, the Springfield/Greene County Parks Department and City Utilities of Springfield.
Fish, squirrels, birds, water fowl
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Land Manager: Springfield-Greene County, MO - Parks and Facilities