Even though all those New Year’s resolutions to get healthy are long-forgotten, there are still plenty of reasons to get out there and start hiking! These trails offer plenty of beauty. If you’re already a hiker, these are some fun trails that you might not have heard about, or ones you can take your non-hiking friends to and maybe start hiking together! Anyways, here are 11 great trails we’ve found for you to start with:
1. Kaw River Trail - Lawrence
The Kaw River Trail in Lawrence is a great one for all types of hikers, with 8.4 miles of trail and plenty of sights and activities as well. Just look at those trees! (Maybe bring a branch for webs, if you're a morning walker.)
2. Overland Park Arboretum
The arboretum here is full of gorgeous scenery, and features a little more than 3 miles of trail to use while you gaze across the waters to the myriad of foliage that should be growing in soon! (Yay spring!)
3. Horse Thief Trail - Kanopolis State Park
This one is not only surrounded by other trail options, but there are 2 miles of glorious sunset photo opportunities as well as a lake. That's a win for me!
4. Prairie Spirit Rail Trail - Ottawa
In Forest Park this trail sits at about 5 miles, but it's well kept and great for morning hikes. This one is pretty popular locally, so there's a good chance you'll have others to hike with, if you want!
5. Konza Prairie Nature Trail - Manhattan
As probably my favorite trail out of this list, the Konza Prairie has a river and other hikers nearby within its close to 3-mile length. There's a short path to the Hokanson Homestead built in 1878 as well, if you're interested.
6. Great Plains Nature Center - Wichita
Right here in Wichita, there's about 2 miles of preserved grassland and wildlife you might not see in the city otherwise.
7. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Trail - Strong City
This one's a little harder, not as short of a hike for most of us who don't get out that much. It's around three miles, which isn't too bad, but there's some elevation changes that make it a little rougher on the knees. There's also a herd of Bison who roam the area, as well!
8. Shawnee Mission Park - Shawnee
Shawnee Mission Park has a pretty good stream of hikers and the loop is about 7 miles in length. There's a Violet trail for more experienced hikers, and an Orange trail for people like me who might wimp out after, oh, 3 miles or so.
9. Elk River Trail - Elk City
This is a point-to-point trail that's about 11.5 miles long, so if you're not up for the whole stretch there and back, you might want to quit partway in and head back. However, it's not one for bikes, so don't think about making it easier on yourself. It's pretty rocky.
10. Kill Creek Park Trail - DeSoto
This one's an easier 3.5-mile loop near DeSoto, and is accessible for both hiking and biking, whichever you prefer. It's recommended you try this one May-September, as the winter months make this one less useable. (What winter?)
11. Indian Creek Trail - Overland Park
This one's another bike and hike trail with popular use and is the longest on this list at 23 miles from one end to the other. There are lots of places for bugs to make your time not so fun, so you should probably visit this one anytime that isn't summer.
If you’re a hiker, and you’ve got that perfect trail you love to visit, let us know where it’s at! We’re always looking for more great places here in the Sunflower State.