Get out. The Kansas City metro is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails. With dozens of warm days ahead + fall months on our minds, here are 6 trail systems that show the best nature KC has to offer.
🥾 Swope Park
20 miles of trail | KCMO | Terrain: natural earth | Parking: Swope Park Trailhead at Oldham and Oakwood roads | Highlight: Wudchuck Run
Swope is a staple for hiking in KC. The rocky + challenging Wudchuck Run trail will make you feel like you’re in the mountains — without the elevation. Non-profit Urban Trail Co. also continues to extend this trail system. Use a trail app to discover the newest routes south of Oldham Road — and watch out for bikers.
🥾 Wyandotte County Lake
19 miles of trail | Wyandotte County, KS | Terrain: natural earth | Parking: Shelter 9, 11, 14 | Highlight: Lakeside Trail
WyCo Lake will fulfill your wilderness cravings. The trails will take you along the lake and over roots and rocks. Find hidden gems, like a mini beach + various lake overlooks. The best view is on the dam. Just keep a trail app handy — there are some colored blazes but not many signs.
🥾 Shawnee Mission Park
1,655 acres | Shawnee, KS | Terrain: paved + natural earth | Parking: Shelter 4, 8, inclusive playground | Highlight: Off-leash dog park
Shawnee Mission Park has trails for every use. Pedestrian pathways connect to the 17-mile Mill Creek Streamway Park trail. Shared nature trails north of the lake offer varying difficulty levels. Hiking-specific trails to the south connect with the 44-acre dog park, which also has paved and dirt trails.
🥾 Honorable mentions
Parkville Nature Sanctuary | Parkville, MO | Terrain: paved + natural earth | Highlight: Various plant and wildlife features, including a butterfly garden
Fleming Park at Lake Jacomo | Blue Springs, MO | Terrain: natural earth + packed aggregate | Highlight: 27.5 miles of multi-use trails
Cliff Drive | KCMO | Terrain: paved | Highlight: accessible urban setting, massive limestone cliffs, views of the East Bottoms
Be sure to check to see if a trail is open before hauling out your hiking boots. Visit Urban Trail Co. online for more trails and their status.