Kansas City Area Trails

Information on hiking trails around the Kansas City area.  Updated 6-14-12.  I don’t live there anymore so this probably won’t be updated.

Johnson County
Shawnee Mission Park
Park map.  The South Shore Trail on the south side of the lake between shelters 8 & 10 runs through the off-leash area and is more straightforward there than the map suggests.  The mountain bike trails are the main attraction.

Kill Creek Park
Park map.  A combination of hiking, mountain bike, and equestrian trails.

Wyandotte County
Wyandotte County Lake
Park Map and new and still-under-construction hiking trails
An old equestrian trail runs about 8 miles around the property and there are some newer hiking trails in at least 3 areas that connect to it, providing a hike of up to 10 miles.  Many parts of this trail stay wet and muddy for a long time after a rain.  Much of the trail is poorly routed (straight up and down hills for example) with subsequent massive erosion.

Jackson County
Blue and Gray Park
An 1800 acre park near Lone Jack.  Probably the closest to wilderness you’ll find in the metro area.  Intriguing.  Lots of equestrian trails going everywhere but none are publicly mapped.  PTOC has an orienteering map showing trails and other features.

Blue River Park
Trail map.  A network of mountain bike trails running parallel to the Blue River from about Minor Park south to almost 139th street.  Will eventually connect to the Swope Park trails.

Burr Oak Woods Conservation/Nature Center
Park map. Trails are short and covered with gravel but usable when many others are too wet.

James A . Reed Wildlife Area
Park map.  A nice little 3 mile hiking trail in SE corner of the area.  Most of the other trails go through open fields or along their edge.

Landahl Park
Trail map.  About 20 miles of trails.  Something for everyone.  One of my favorites.  There are more trails south of Argo Road for hikers and horses but they’re unmapped and unmarked.

Longview Lake
Area map.  A 3.5 mile equestrian trail.

Monkey Mountain
No decent publicly available trail maps.  PTOC has an orienteering map showing trails and other features.

River Bluff Nature Preserve

Swope Park
Trail map.  Mountain bike trails winding along the front and top of a rock ledge.  Very cool.

Clay County
Hidden Valley Natural Area

Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
Old trail map.  Some natural surface trails – rather short but kind of interesting.  Spend some money in the visitor center/gift shop.

Smithville Lake
Mountain bike trails.   Not as interesting as Landahl.
Equestrian trails.  About 25 miles.  There’s some good hiking here.  The trails are well marked and in pretty good condition.  The lettered reference points are places where the orange and white trails meet and there is often a marked post at those locations.  The best areas are between C-H and Q-Y.

Stocksdale & Walnut Woods
Mountain bike trail map.  Winds round and round through the woods without going very far.

Platte County
Parkville Nature Sanctuary
Trail map.  Trails are short and very heavily used, lots of gravel.

Parma Woods Range and Training Center
Area map.  Short trail.

Platte Falls Conservation Area
No official trails.

Tiffany Springs Park
No mapped or marked trails.  Most trails are old ATV ruts amidst scrub vegetation.

Weston Bend State Park
Trail map.  Some interesting but short and over-used trails.  The extensive erosion of the scenic West Ridge trail makes me weep.

Kansas
Clinton Lake
Woodridge Primitive Area.  4.5 mile trail.  Primitive camping permitted.
North Shore Trails. About 21 miles of nice trails.  The red “Land’s End” section is a favorite.
Rockhaven Trails.  Reportedly 30+ miles of equestrian trails along south shore.  Adjacent to camping area.

Hillsdale lake
Somewhere between 10-30 miles of equestrian trails.  Still being explored but looks promising for a good long hike.  No accurate map online but paper ones are available in the Saddle Ridge Equestrian camp ground and maybe elsewhere.  A crappy scan of part of the paper trail map:  Hillsdale Equestrian Trails

Linn County Park (La Cygne Lake)
About 22 miles of equestrian trails.  The northern part is the most interesting.  Some parts are not very well blazed and the trail just seems to peter out.  An outdated but lovingly-handdrawn map is available at the park office/marina.  There’s also a small aerial photo with what looks like a GPS track.

Perry Lake
28 mile loop for hikers only.  Some parts very nice.  Camping permitted in some areas.
There’s a bike/hike trail on the west side of the lake but I think there’s been a lot of rerouting since this map was made.
Equestrian trails on west side of the lake as well.

Missouri
Bluffwoods Conservation Area
Trail map.  Interesting area.  There are several old trails that aren’t on the current map.

Wallace State Park

Some other resources

5 Responses to Kansas City Area Trails

  1. Jim says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this information. Some places I had no idea about. I wish I could find places near the KC area where I can fish all night in relative peace and seclusion.

  2. Julianne says:

    Thank you for this page! I just hiked 4.5 miles in Stocksdale Park with a 2010 map (I couldn’t find anything more recent, until I stumbled upon your site). The 2012 map is going to come in handy next time, as I was quite confused today. Apparently significant changes were made in that time frame.

  3. ldgalindo says:

    This isn’t a trail question, but have you ever attended the Walnut Valley Festival in Kansas?

    • michaelr42 says:

      Never been there, but I’ve heard people talk about it. They made it sound like Woodstock with bluegrass.

      • Jenn says:

        Ha! That is the perfect description….Woodstock for bluegrass! A great time.

        This a fantastic post, I have been doing research on local trails all day.

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