The 5 Best Places to Hike in Kansas City

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

My husband, Nick, and I love to hike. I spend a lot of time cycling and he spends a lot of time running, so hiking is where we come together (and where he kicks my booty! Training for and completing a 50k trail run make you a pretty good hiker).

When I tell people about our shared activity, I'm often asked where we like to go. While there are a lot of nice options around Kansas City, here are my 5 go-to spots:

Best Places to Hike in Kansas City

1. Wyandotte County Lake: Bridle Trail

  • Location: Kansas City, Kansas
  • Distance: 9.2 mile loop with multiple options to add distance
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate - Difficult, known for it's steep climbs
  • Pro Tip: Park at Shelter 9, walk past the park shelter and enter the woods. The trailhead comes out onto the street multiple times, so it helps to bring a map or join the Trail Nerds.

2. Perry Lake Hiking Trails

  • Location: Ozawkie, Kansas
  • Distance: 29 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult depending on the sections you hike
  • Pro Tip: Make a weekend out of it and stay at the Perry Cabins.

3. Swope Park: Mountain Bike Trail

  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Distance: 13.5 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

4. Clinton Lake: North Shore Trails

  • Location: Lawrence, Kansas
  • Distance: 25 miles
  • Difficulty Level: The 8.4 mile Blue Trail is easy to moderate. The 12.8 mile White Trail is moderate to challenging.
  • Pro Tip: The Blue Trail is closer to the Clinton Lake shoreline. The White Trail wanders up away from the lake.

5. Shawnee Mission Park Trails

  • Location: Shawnee Mission, Kansas
  • Distance: 9.1 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate

Honorable Mentions: Best Places for a Short, Easy Hike

Parkville Nature Sanctuary

  • Located in Parkville, Missouri this nature sanctuary is beautiful and relaxing and makes for an easy hike.

Roanoke Park Trails

  • Located in the heart of Kansas City, these 2.5 miles of trails are an easy way to get an urban hike in. Park at the Westport-Roanoke Community Center.

Find Your Favorite Trail

Use these resources to find the perfect trail for you:

And comment below with your favorite place to hike in or around KC!


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