5 Great Hiking Trails in Kansas

By Cindy Lockstone

5 Great Hiking Trails in Kansas

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Pack up the family and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural magnificence of Kansas. With a tremendous amount of hiking trails waiting to be trekked, you’ll find a route that caters to Mom, Dad, and the little ones, too. Get on your way at these five excellent hiking trails in Kansas. 

1. North Shore Trails at Clinton Lake

Take the family to experience the beautiful hiking trails around Clinton Lake in Lawrence. Depending on the hikers in your family, these trails will allow you to choose the best path for your skill level. Your options are endless as you set out to explore the lake, forests, and hills of this enchanting area. Wildlife is abundant and the views are spectacular. Stop by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Visitors Center for maps and instructions and follow the trail heads. Enjoy walking and hiking with the family.

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2. Agave Ridge Trail

The Agave Ridge Trail near Ellis will wind your family through a one-mile paved trail and also offers a four-mile primitive trail. Both deliver beautiful scenic vistas of Western Kansas prairie grasses, opportunities to view wildlife, the abundant Great Plains Yucca plants, and the half-mile cedar lined bluffs from which the trails are named after. The trail head is found in the Page Creek Area in Cedar Bluff State Park and interpretative signs keep you on the trails. Have fun and enjoy the scenery!

3. Oregon Trail Nature Park

Located northwest of Topeka in the iconic Flint Hills, the Oregon Trail Nature Park provides three short loop hiking trails for the entire family. The trails are along the north edge of the Kaw River Valley and it’s the same route immigrants crossed over 100 years ago. The Sea of Grass trail takes you up to the top of the ridge and gives 360-degree views. Wildlife and wild flowers are abundant and don’t miss the old silo murals. Restrooms, picnic tables, shelters and water are onsite for convenience. Learn some history and take in the fascinating ecosystems.

4. Ancient Trees Trail at Cross Timbers State Park

One of five hiking areas at Cross Timbers State Park near Toronto, the Ancient Trees Trail is a family favorite one-mile hike. Walk along the scenic valley of the Verdigris River through 400-year-old oak trees and cross through parts of the Chautauqua Hills. This trail is rich in history with diverse habitat, prairie clearings, and translucent streams. Interpretive signage leads the way, and day or night camping is permitted. A great place to spend time in a truly “ancient” forest.

5. Alcove Springs Loop Trail

Load up the family and hike the Alcove Springs Loop Trail near Blue Rapids. Explore the trails scenic, history-filled surroundings, and look for actual carvings of pioneers who etched their names into nearby rocks and trees. Stay on the path until you find the waterfall and enjoy the quiet picturesque scenery (and the occasional wildlife sightings!) This is an awesome trail to hike and explore.

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