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Go biking & hiking for Father’s Day fun

For many, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a new or renewed interest in outdoor activities. This Father’s Day, you can keep the fun going with these family hike or biking adventures in Kansas City or one of hundreds of parks nationwide.

In the Kansas City metro area, here are 11 trails that range from four to 25 miles along varied terrain. Most of these trails are suitable for hiking, walking, running and mountain biking on natural, concrete or crushed limestone surfaces.

  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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 and showcases the Kessler Park landscape. This trail project has reclaimed land from invasive honeysuckle and misuse. Map
  1. 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
  1. Swope Trails
    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
  1. Cave Spring Park Trails
    Location:8701 E. Gregory
    Length:4.5 miles
    Description: The dirt trails at the Cave Spring Historic Site & Nature Center are for walking and hiking only. 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
  1. 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
  1. Jerry Smith Park Trail
    Location:139th St and Prospect Ave.
    Length:1.36 miles
    Description: A crushed limestone loop trail features beautiful wild flowers and a native prairie preserve providing unusual calm close to an urban area. The park/trail is for walking and hiking only. Map
  1. 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
  1. Line Creek Trail
    Location:2699 NW 60thSt.
    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

For hiking and biking locations outside the Kansas City area, find trails near you at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, National Park Service or American Hiking Society.

Photo: Nathan Rupert / CC

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