In 1995, the citizens of Warrensburg and Whiteman Air Force Base had a shared interest for a trail to connect the two communities.

Phase 1 was completed in the late 1990s, but it did not fully connect the two locations.

In 2012, the Johnson County Trail Coalition, now known as the Spirit Trails Coalition, organized to continue a countywide pedestrian and bicycle trail system. Through the cooperative efforts of the Johnson County Commission, local Municipal Governments, Missouri State Parks, University of Central Missouri, Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission, State Legislators, Missouri Department of Transportation and Whiteman Air Force Base a 4-phase plan was developed with an anticipated completion timeline of eight to ten years.

With the assistance of Missouri Department of Transportation, Great Rivers Engineering based in Springfield Missouri, Build-it Construction out of Nevada Missouri, and multiple funding sources, construction began August 2017.

A ribbon cutting for the completed eastern section of the Spirit Trail was held on October 16, 2018.