Are you a novice hiker (like myself) who wants to get out and hike Kansas this summer but doesn’t know where to begin? Don’t let the thought of it scare you away; just start with one of these 10 incredible Kansas hikes that are 5 miles long or less:
1. Cottonwood Trail at Sand Hills State Park (Hutchinson)
There is no better place to start hiking than the short and undaunting Cottonwood Trail, which can be completed in a mere .5 miles.
2. Cedar Ridge ADA Trail at Tuttle Creek (Manhattan)
Another short, yet scenic trail is that of the .6 mile Cedar Ridge ADA Trail, which is surrounded by pristine campsites and native greenery.
3. Teter Nature Trail at El Dorado State Park (El Dorado)
Shhh... listen very carefully and you may hear the peaceful sounds of birds chirping during your 3/4 mile walk through nature. Once you finish Teter...
4. Walnut Ridge Trail at El Dorado State Park (El Dorado)
...you will want to try the neighboring Walnut Ridge Trail, which also runs less than a mile. (It's another 3/4 mile, to be exact.)
5. Neosho Riverwalk (Council Grove)
The next time you visit Council Grove, don't forget to visit the 1-mile-long Neosho Riverwalk, which passes several beautiful sites including the Madonna of the Trail and Kaw Mission State Historic Site.
6. Double Black Diamond Trail at El Dorado State Park (El Dorado)
Now that you've mastered all of the <1 trails, it's time to take a trip down the 2 mile Double Black Diamond Trail by bike or foot. It may sound intimidating, but we know you can do it!
7. Crystal Trail at Milford State Park (Junction City)
Sure, Milford Lake is known statewide for its awesome fishing... but did you know it also has epic hiking opportunities via the 2.1 mile long Crystal Trail?
8. Konza Prairie Nature Trail Loop (Manhattan)
When it comes to nature walks, it doesn't get much more beautiful than the Konza Prairie, which is home to more than 8,616 acres of the colorful tallgrass prairie.
9. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Trail (Strong City)
Just can't seem to get enough of the tallgrass priaire? No? Then try your skills on the 2.9 mile Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Trail and enjoy Kansas nature that way it was intended. (P.S. You may make a new four-legged friend or two along the way!)
10. Riverwalk Trail (Junction City)
Listen... do you hear that sound? Me neither... it's perfect, isn't it? (The tranquil Riverwalk Trail runs approximately 3.8 miles.)