Outdoors & Recreation


Ava City Park

The Ava park system currently includes one city park, of approximately 20 acres, and one neighborhood park. Within these parks a number of recreational opportunities are available, such as, walking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic facilities, ball fields, and a municipal swimming pool and water park. The Ava Parks and Recreation Department sponsors various recreational activities throughout the year

Ava Water Park

Our water park is equipped with a swimming pool, as well as, a large wading pool for the younger children. Ava Water Park is open from Memorial Day weekend through the middle of August with certified lifeguards on duty. Swimming lessons, water aerobic classes, and pool party rentals are also available.

Ava Grower’s Market

This open air market is held every Saturday morning, April through October, on the downtown square. Vendors retail all types of handmade crafts, home grown vegetables, home-made baked goods, bedding plants, flowers, and small farm animals such as poultry. Just about anything our local citizens can produce with their own hands is available.  It’s a fun place to browse and a great place to pick up fresh home grown product early each Saturday morning, during the growing season.

Wildlife and Conservation

Sportsmen gather to this area to hunt deer, turkey, squirrels, rabbit, raccoon and other small game that live in our woodlands. Fishing and canoeing in our clean, sparkling streams is another favorite past time. In addition to our own local streams, Bull Shoals Lake is just 30 minutes south of town making boating, water skiing, and other water sports are available just a stone’s throw away.

Glade Top Trail

Mark Twain National Forest’s Glade Top Trail is Missouri’s only National Scenic Byway. The 23 mile trail weaves through narrow ridge tops above the surrounding rolling countryside. Travelers are treated to numerous scenic views that reach the Springfield Plateau to the northwest and south to the St. Francis and Boston Mountains in Northern Arkansas.

Local residents have long recognized the scenic values of the area by sponsoring the “Flaming Fall Revue” in celebration of the smoke tree’s brilliant red/orange fall foliage. Each year, on the 3rd Sunday in October, the Ava Chamber of Commerce celebrates the annual Revue with a traditional barbecue, live music, and fall activities.

Chadwick Riding Area

Chadwick Riding Area is home to roughly 80 miles of ATV, motorcycle, and mountain bike trails with 3 levels of riding difficulties. Trails marked with green circle are the easiest, blue square is for moderate, and black diamond is for difficult. This riding area is estimated at around 12 square miles in the Mark Twain National Forest. It is one of the top two ATV parks in Missouri. Click here for Chadwick Map

Ozark Mountains Living

Explore Douglas County through the eyes of one of Ozarks own natives, Sheila Wiley.