Kansas City may not be known for its mountains or rugged terrain, but that doesn't mean it lacks in hiking trails.
In fact, the city and its surrounding areas offer a variety of trails for hikers of all levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced hiker, you'll find something to suit your needs in Kansas City.
Hiking is a great way to get outside, enjoy nature, and stay active. It's also a great way to explore the city and its surroundings.
With so many hiking trails to choose from, you can experience everything from scenic views to historic landmarks. And with the changing seasons, there's always something new to see and discover.
Kansas City's hiking trails are also a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Many of the trails are located just a short drive from downtown, making them accessible to anyone looking for a quick escape from the city.
So whether you're looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, Kansas City's hiking trails are sure to offer something for everyone.
1. Rock Island 98th Street Trailhead
Rock Island 98th Street Trailhead is a well-maintained hiking trail that's perfect for running, walking, and cycling. The trail is mostly shaded with some areas paved and some not.
It's a flat and easy trail to access, and there's plenty of parking available. The Vale tunnel is a cool sight to see, and it's located just a short ride to the south.
The trailhead has a chemical toilet, and the restrooms at the Lee's Summit trailhead are well-serviced and clean brick facilities with regularly cleaned indoor plumbing.
This is a great family trail that's very flat and wide, and it's perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without too much elevation gain. The trail is still being developed, and it's exciting to think about what it will be like when it's completed up to the stadiums.
2. Swope Park Trails – Wudchuk Run Trail Head
Swope Park Trails – Wudchuk Run Trail Head is a moderate hiking trail that offers a scenic and challenging experience. The trail has some elevation changes and features some loose rocks, but it is in good condition overall.
The paths are somewhat clearly marked, and the trail offers a great opportunity for hiking, walking dogs, or mountain biking.
The trail has some amazing challenges for mountain bikers, with progressive trail features throughout. The park is clean and has ample parking, but visitors should be mindful of the risk of car break-ins.
The trail is somewhat hidden in the middle of the city, making it a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
3. Swope Park Mountain Bike Trail
Swope Park Mountain Bike Trail offers a network of bike-friendly trails amid rocks and hardwood forest.
Hikers can choose from various paths with varying levels of difficulty. The trail system is well-maintained and has a great variety for different skill levels.
The scenery is beautiful, with great rock formations and deer trails. The trail is also suitable for mountain biking and has technical rocky sections and nice flowing trails.
It is a hidden gem in the city and definitely worth checking out for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Trail of Heroes
The Trail of Heroes is a well-maintained hiking trail that offers a variety of paths for different skill levels.
Along the trail, you'll find plenty of rest areas and monuments honoring fallen officers. The trail is mostly dirt and wood chip, with some gravel at the start.
The scenery is picturesque, with beautiful foliage and lighting on the trees. It's a peaceful and calming place to reflect on life or enjoy nature.
However, it's isolated enough that it's not recommended to go alone or at night. The Trail of Heroes is a hidden gem that's perfect for a relaxing walk or bird watching.
5. Happy Rock Trail Trailhead Parking Lot
Happy Rock Trail Trailhead Parking Lot offers a beautiful hiking experience with scenic views and friendly people.
The trail is well-maintained and offers both concrete and dirt paths. Dogs are welcome and there are opportunities for them to splash in the creek.
The park is perfect for a hot morning walk as it offers plenty of shade. While the playgrounds are small, the trail system is extensive and great for exploring.
Happy Rock Trail Trailhead Parking Lot is a must-visit for hiking enthusiasts.
6. Blue River Parkway Trails
Blue River Parkway Trails is a sprawling network of trails that is perfect for hiking enthusiasts.
The trails are well-maintained and offer varying degrees of difficulty, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers.
The scenery is breathtaking, with beautiful woods and plenty of spots to feel secluded. The trails are also shared by bikers, so hikers need to keep an eye out for them.
Despite this, everyone is friendly and courteous. The park is a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
7. Longview Lake Main Trail Head
The Longview Lake Main Trail Head is a fantastic hiking trail for those looking for a great outdoor experience.
With a length of 6+ miles, it's perfect for an energetic hike or a leisurely stroll. The trail is always clear, and other guests are friendly and courteous.
The area is well-maintained, and there are restrooms and an exercise course available for use. The lakeview trail is a highlight of the hike, providing stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing walk, the Longview Lake Main Trail Head is definitely worth a visit.
8. Blue River Parkway Trails – River Trail Trail Head
The Blue River Parkway Trails – River Trail Trail Head is a must-visit hiking trail for nature lovers. This well-maintained trail offers a range of difficulty levels, making it suitable for everyone.
The trail system is a combination of technical, climbing, and flow, making it an excellent spot for mountain biking. The river views are stunning, and the trail leads to some fantastic rock-skipping spots.
The terrain is varied, which adds to the enjoyment of the hike. The trail is also suitable for horseback riding and walking.
Visitors will appreciate the friendly atmosphere on the trail and the peaceful surroundings. The Blue River Parkway Trails is a great addition to the KC circuit, and it is worth a visit for trail enthusiasts.