This Father’s Day, head out to a local park for a hiking or biking adventure that will get the whole family outside and keep everyone at a social distance. Here are 11 great ideas in Kansas City and more resources for parks in cities nationwide.
While trying to stay at a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can explore trails that range from four to 25 miles long with varied terrain throughout the metro. Most are suitable for hiking, walking, running and mountain biking on natural, concrete or crushed limestone surfaces. Note that Cave Spring Park Trails and Jerry Smith Park Trail only allow walking and hiking.
Blue River Parkway Trails
Location: Blue River Road and E Blue Ridge Blvd.
Length: 25 miles
Description: Winding up the slopes above the Blue River, this longer trail system features a variety of terrain, rock features and river views. This system anchors one of the largest new trails projects in the city, eventually connecting to the Swope Trails system. Map
Hidden Valley Park Trail
Location: 4029 N Bellaire Ave.
Length: 4 miles
Description: The Hidden Valley Park trail skirts the rim and dives into the valley that earned the park its name. A mid-length trail, Hidden Valley has a remote feel and unique, stunning views down into the valley. Map
Hodge Park Trails
Location: 24 NE Reinking Road
Length: 7 miles
Description: This trail system winds through the Hodge Park grounds near the Shoal Creek Living History Museum. These flowing paths are a good woodland trail experience for younger or newer trail users. Map
Kessler Park Trails
Location: 59 Chestnut Trafficway
Length: 8 miles
Description: Highlighting the bluffs over state scenic byway Cliff Drive, this trail is minutes from downtown showcases the Kessler Park landscape. This trail project has reclaimed land from invasive honeysuckle and misuse. Map
Rozarks Trails/Roanoke Park Trails
Location: 3648 Roanoke Road
Length: 6 miles (Roanoke-2.5 miles; Rosedale, 3.5 miles)
Description: This single-track experience in the urban core connects neighborhoods to nature, linking parks in the near northeast corridor in both Missouri and Kansas. Map
Location: Oldham Road in Swope Park
Length: 13.5 miles
Description: This longer trail system in one of KC’s crown jewel parks features gently rolling contours on its north side and limestone bluff faces to the south. The Swope Trails system represents almost a decade of work. Ongoing project phases will add mileage within the park and work to connect with the Blue River Parkway trail system. Map
Cave Spring Park Trails
Location: 8701 E. Gregory
Length: 4.5 miles
Description: These dirt hiking trails are located at the Cave Spring Historic Site & Nature Center. There are three loops — but once on the trail it feels like the trails all loop and cross so much you can take a different route each trip. Along the trail you will see remains of old cabins, creeks, ponds and a small cave with a spring in it. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Map
Fox Hollow Trail
Location: 4601 E. Gregory in Swope Park
Length: 2 miles
Description: Located behind Lakeside Nature Center, Fox Hollow Trail is shaded by trees, vines, flowers and features rock formations and a creek crossing. It’s a hidden forest gem. Map
Jerry Smith Park Trail
Location: 139th St and Prospect Ave.
Length: 1.36 miles
Description: A crushed limestone loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and a native prairie preserve providing unusual calm close to an urban area. The park/trail closes at sunset every day. Map
Riverfront Heritage Trail
Location: Berkley Riverfront Park
Length: 15 miles
Description: This fully accessible 15-mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway begins at the riverfront and winds through the oldest and most historic parts of bi-state Kansas City. It is the first of its kind in Downtown Kansas City. It links communities, parks and destinations with unique new venues and public artworks. Historical markers along the trail mark early history of this region. Map
Line Creek Trail
Location: 2699 NW 60th St.
Length: 8.25 miles
Description: Line Creek Trail winds through the countryside of Platte County. Follow the trail through wooded areas along the creek for a back-to-nature experience in the heart of the Northland. The multi-use trail sees frequent use by hikers and bicyclists. Map