Hiking

Here is a list of free trails to hike around Kansas City

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It’s that part of early summer before it gets too hot. What to do when the weather is nice and the sun is shining?

Local high schooler Lizzie Place has a suggestion: take a hike.

The fourth generation Girl Scout and junior at Blue Valley North High School is the founder of Take a Hike, KCwhich highlights free hiking trails in the Kansas City area.

Place created the list as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project, which is the most prestigious award you can earn as a Girl Scout for making lasting change in your community.

With the hiking list, Place said she wanted to do something that was helpful to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was staying home so much during COVID, doing online classes, and I think hiking is so good for your mental health, as well as your physical health,” Place said. “It really gave me a break in the middle of COVID when I wasn’t seeing my friends as much.”

Place said she loves hiking, but so far couldn’t find a compiled list of Kansas City hiking trails. She wanted to make the activity so dear to her heart more accessible to everyone.

You can see the full list of trails here, including their location and the length of each trail. She also made a downloadable list of 50 of his favorite free trails.

Place posts regular updates on Take A Hike KC on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. If you know of a trail in Kansas City that isn’t on his list, you can submit it to their website.

“You can hike for 30 minutes or 20 minutes – it doesn’t have to be a five hour thing, and once you’re out there and you’re with people you really enjoy, it becomes much more fun and people fall in love with it very quickly,” Place said.

Here are some of Place’s favorite places, with descriptions in his own words:

Blue River Parkway Trails: “These amazing trails inside the city range from very easy to very difficult. The basement is one of my favorite trails, but I get nervous every time!”

Burr Oak Woods: Bethany Falls Trail: “Bethany Falls has something for everyone, over the creek, through the woods and ending in the incredible limestone outcrops that give it its name.”

Fleming Park: Rock Ledge Trails: “Park at Shelter 14 and hike the beautiful trails on the upper or lower ledge with amazing views of the lake. Besides, bison!

Gary L. Haller Trail: “Great long paved trail that goes north to south through Johnson County. At the north end you can hike up the Kansas River and see eagles in the winter. The Mill Creek loop inside Shawnee Mission Park is so pretty in the fall.

Hidden Valley Park: Natural Area Trail: “Such an amazing trail at KCMO that more people should be hiking. I feel like I’m in Jurassic Park when hiking this trail in the summer. Better than Worlds of Fun, which is right there too.

Lexington Lake Park: Indigo Loop Trail: “A newer park in JoCo with lots of trail miles. I particularly like Indigo Loop, with its long, stacked rock wall that descends to a stream and up to rocky cliffs.

Olathe Prairie Center Trails: “Prairie Center is almost never busy so quiet and peaceful. I feel like a lot of people don’t know he’s there. Stunning wildflowers in the summer.

Parkville Nature Sanctuary Trails: “So many wildlife, lots of boardwalks, a waterfall, and you can hike in the conservation area. Plus, there’s a cool hideaway for Girl Scouts! »

Stocksdale Park / Walnut Woods Trails: “The only access to Walnut Woods is through the park. Drive to the furthest point and park to access more difficult trails closer to Rush Creek.”

Swope Park Rocky Point Glade Trail: “KCMO’s best kept secret trail. Glade trail is for hikers only, with a small hidden gate on the Rancho D’Lux trail, behind the old rock shelter at the top of Oakwood Drive.”

This is also the trail that Place has recommended every Kansas Citian do at least one hike in their lifetime.

Tomahawk Creek Trail: “A real escape trail through Leawood and Overland Park. Walk the trail south from the Tomahawk Creek Park parking lot in Leawood, to find a single picnic table hidden by the creek.

Wyandotte County Lake Park Bridal Trail: “It feels like a state park, and I think it’s the most beautiful park of all in the fall. The short stretch of trail starting at Shelter 6 and heading towards Schlagle Library is breathtaking when the leaves turn.”

This story was originally published June 2, 2022 5:00 a.m.

Joseph Hernandez is a member of The Star’s duty journalism team. A native of Kansas City, Hernandez is a graduate of Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously wrote for the Columbia Missourian and The Pitch.