“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where
nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
— John Muir, founder, The Sierra Club
Unique parks, diverse facilities and a panoply
of programs and events fall under the umbrella
of Hannibal Parks & Recreation.
In addition to enhancing Hannibal’s
historic and natural environmental heritage,
parks provide recreational opportunities
that fulfill the mission of having Hannibal
residents and visitors be healthy and fit.
Hannibal Parks & Recreations takes care of more than 40 facilities andparks, including Riverview Park, which, at 465 acres, is the biggest park.
Newly installed at Riverview is an expression swing, donated by Rotary
Club of Hannibal. It lets a parent and child swing together, while facing
Also at Riverview, work continues on a new trail system and the opening
of White Pines Trail.
The popularity of Sodalis Nature Preserve, which opened in January
2016, continues. At 185 acres, Sodalis is Hannibal’s second largest park
and serves as a preserve for endangered Indiana bats. Recently purchased
property adjacent to the preserve will allow for a paved trail to be
extended for about a half-mile, and work will continue on Pirate Ridge
During the past year, hundreds have attended events at the amphitheater
site at Sodalis; more events are upcoming, including 5K runs in
March and August.
Hannibal Parks & Recreation received the highest award given by the
Missouri Department of Conservation, in conjunction with other groups
that made Sodalis possible.
Huckleberry Park this spring will see a new shelter installed and, at 30
feet by 60 feet, it will be the system’s largest and include about eight picnic
Unveiled in September, the Born Learning Trail has several playground
pieces and two swings accessible to those with disabilities.
The newly renovated softball field includes dugouts accessible to
those with disabilities, and the refurbished disc golf course now bears the
name of its founder, Don Crane.
A March reopening is planned for the Ramp Park, which is a popularplace for those with bicycles,
skateboards, roller skates and
Adding to new trails at
Dulany Park will be outdoor
educational signage as well as
wildflowers, bat houses and
plants to attract butterflies.
New to Bear Creek Trail is
outdoor fitness equipment with
24 exercises; it combines functional
fitness and body-weight
training on three skill levels.
A growing trend? Weddings
in the parks, with more than
250 shelter rentals in 2016.
Something for everyone
The list of events and activities supported by the recreational half of the
Parks and Recreation duo is wide ranging and leads to the conclusion that
there really is something for everyone.
Activities at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center include indoor
horseshoes, a youth BB-gun league, indoor archery, Special Olympics
practices, senior adult dances,
pickleball leagues — fall, winter
and spring —and more.
The department also cosponsors
events ranging from
the DARE Halloween Party to
a Senior Expo and Teen Health
Fair. There is something going
on almost every weekend,
ranging from receptions and
parties to public events, including
the upcoming Chili CookOff.
Beyond that, the rec center
is where you’ll find special
events ranging from boxing
matches to quilt exhibitions, a
circus and gun shows.
The activities continue with hundreds of people participating in sand
volleyball at the Southside Sand Courts and Hannibal Aquatic Center
attracting an average of about 200 people per day with activities such as
standup paddleboard yoga.
In the planning? A cardboard boat race.