If you're looking for things to do on your family vacation to Kansas, pack your hiking shoes and plan on exploring some of the best known Kansas hiking trails. The diverse landscape of Kansas makes it especially ideal for hiking. The vast prairie as well as the unique geologic features of the Smoky Hills offers hikers challenging terrain and beautiful views. Whether you're vacationing in the Kansas City area or more rural areas, Kansas hiking is a great way to spend your time.
While many people don't think of the Kansas City area as a place for hiking, there are several city parks that offer scenic hiking trails. Kansas hiking enthusiasts often describe Antioch Park as the best place to enjoy an afternoon of hiking in Kansas. The 44 acre park has two miles of paved and unpaved trails that are ideal for hiking and biking. The trails are gentle enough for any type of hiker to handle and some parts are wheelchair accessible. The trails provide views of two lakes and a large rose garden. In addition to its impressive Kansas trails, the park also has several large playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and areas for boating and fishing.
Kansas trails such as the one at the Konza Biological Preserve provide a unique look at the watersheds and ravines that characterize the Kansas Flint Hills. The trail is located just south of Manhattan and is almost three miles in length. The steep climb provides excellent views of the Kansas River Valley and beautiful varieties of wildflowers. The trail is best suited for intermediate hikers.
The five and a half mile Horsethief Trail is Kansas hiking at its best. Hikers will venture through a cave, underneath arches made of boulders, and across the Red Rock Canyon. Besides hiking, visitors can also go for a horseback ride or observe the prairie dogs that live in the grassland.
Those who are looking for more challenging Kansas trails should consider hiking the Lake Scott multi-use trail. Located just north of Garden City, the seven mile trail circles around a lake that is surrounded by bluffs where cactus and yucca plants grow. The Kansas hiking trail has several scenic lookout points of the lake and canyon.
The George Latham Hiking Trail at Clinton Lake provides a four and a half mile hiking trail with sections that nearly touch the lakeshore. It also provides views of wooden ravines and prairies. The hiking trail is suitable for beginning hikers, although there are some steep areas.
Hiking in Kansas can be enjoyed any time of year. Although temperatures can get quite cool in December and January, the weather is usually suitable for hiking with the proper gear. After you're finished hiking in Kansas, be sure to visit the state's beautiful state parks and camping areas or go fishing in one of the many Kansas lakes and ponds.