This multi-use rail trail stretches from Springfield to end at Bolivar 35 miles to the north. The first 8.5 miles from Springfield are paved. After that it is a pretty easy crushed gravel track with minimal grades and a smooth tread. A gravel bike or even a cruiser can easily handle the trail.
As you start, you'll go past the Springfield Airport to the left, making your way northwest towards Willard. If you forgot to bring enough food or water, this is a good place to get off the trail and get supplies. As you ride further north, you'll notice that the trail curves away from Hwy 123 that it has been hugging so far. This means that you are close to the town of Walnut Grove. Each of these towns have a trailhead with parking.
From Walnut Grove, the trail veers off to less populated areas and you'll be able to hear and see all kinds of birds. You might come across some cattle, turtles, and other such animals. You'll also cross a couple of beautiful old bridges. The next trailhead is at Wishart. From Wishart, you'll ride straight up north to Bolivar.