Across Kansas there are many great hiking trails to be found, and Kansas I-70 gives you direct access to many of them. Our I-70 communities have put together a list of the best hiking trails for you to enjoy. So jump in the car and take a drive to one of communities below, enjoy your hike, and then take some time to enjoy what each location has to offer.
The Goodland Topside Trails Project Inc. is an enhancement to the existing health, recreation, and quality of life opportunities in Goodland and Sherman County. Residents and visitors from across the State of Kansas can enjoy the scenery and the great outdoors along the Topside Trail. This community-wide initiative is bringing new recreational trails, a dog park, amphitheater, and splash pad to Goodland.
The Colby Walking Trail is a 2.2-mile long trail used for walking, running, and biking, and also has a state-of-the-art playground. This community organized project was designed and developed by Colby’s Active Community Design Committee. Together with the help of local individuals and businesses, Colby is creating a year-round usable space to increase the activity level, improve the health and add to the enjoyment of the entire city.
Open year-round, the hiking and horseback trails beckon with views of prairie vistas and chalk bluffs. Take the one mile loop or the five mile loop at the Nature Conservancy’s Smoky Valley Ranch and enjoy the rugged terrain of the short grass prairie. Come often to catch the seasonal changes of the prairie.
The ranch is home to pronghorn, mule and white-tail deer, and swift fox. Birdwatchers be on the lookout for prairie chickens, ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls, and golden eagles. Hikers may also be able to see the herd of buffalo on the ranch interior.
Wear boots and watch where you walk – there are rattlesnakes in the area. There is no water or restroom facilities available. Visitors are welcome to hike the trails year-round from dawn till dusk. Trail maps available at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, or on-line at Smoky Valley Ranch | VisitOakleyKS.
WaKeeney Tour of Trees – WaKeeney is “The Christmas City of The High Plains” even when snow is not on the ground. WaKeeney Travel & Tourism, Trego County Historical Society, and private citizens have come together to create a self-guided adventure through WaKeeney and it’s history. The tour itself consists of 22 trees. Tour maps can be picked up at the North Pole Santa House downtown. From there you can start your adventure. The trees located downtown are 3D and depict the history of Kansas and WaKeeney. Some trees tell a little bit about the businesses that have sponsored a tree. The tour continues with single dimensional trees which are located in front of some of the historical homes in town, sharing more of WaKeeney’s interesting heritage. One of the homes on tour is the home of the personal physician to Wild Bill Hickock.
Fort Hays State University Dike Trail – This 10-foot-wide multi-use concrete path along the dike follows the east edge of Big Creek on the southwest side of the city and can accommodate walkers, bikers, and joggers. It goes through the Fort Hays State University campus, past the Hays bison herd, and through Frontier Park. The route is approximately 1 ¾ miles one way. Easy access points with parking are located at the south end of Allen Street, at Main and 2nd Streets, and on Gustad Drive on the FHSU campus.
Dr. Howard Reynolds Nature Trails – Just west of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, the Dr. Howard Reynolds Nature Trails provide explorers of all ages a sanctuary to view nature as it exists in west-central Kansas. The 2.0 miles of trails wind through the upland prairie, along the riparian corridor, over the stream, and underneath the trees. If you look closely, you’ll see over 200 species of native plants, as well as aquatic wildlife in the pond and stream that includes snakes, turtles, and amphibians. Take a seat along the trail to hear and watch a variety of birds, and if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a deer making its way along the stream corridor.
Big Creek Nature Trail – The Big Creek Nature Trail, located within Frontier Park, will take visitors on a 1.7 mile hike along the banks of Big Creek. While on your adventure be sure to take notice of the 14 points of interest along the way. These points of interest identify areas of historical significance and trees which are common to this region.
Rock Town Trail is a 2.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lucas, Kansas that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The Rocktown Hiking Trail winds through rolling hills, steep slopes, a valley wall, and along a portion of the shores of Wilson Lake as it passes by towering rock formations from which the trail derived its name. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Located throughout the city, Salina Trails is a system of 24 miles of dedicated trails for pedestrians and bikers. Currently there are 10 miles of completed or planned trails and 14 miles of purposed trails. There are four trail types: levee trails, multi-use, the Smoky Hill River Trail, and park nature/walking trails.
Nearby fave: Marty Bender Nature Area – “Omg what a nice trail, seriously! Well marked and groomed it even has a tree swing to cool off.” Tina, hiker
One of the best ways to explore Junction City and Geary County is to get outdoors and walk, bike ride or even horseback ride! Whatever your pleasure, we have the place that is ideal for those activities.
Always try to hike, bike, or explore with a family member or friend. Let someone know your location and plans, watch for changing weather, and be extra careful during the period of November through February, as hunters are in the field. Wildlife is wild, do not handle injured or found animals. Please visit our website to learn more about our 10 hiking trails.
Enjoy the breath taking Flint Hills landscape as you hike one of the many trails Manhattan has to offer. Try out Konza Prairie for beautiful views and hills. Check out the Bluemont Scenic Overlook for the perfect panoramic view of Downtown Manhattan. Or take on Linear Park Trail, a 9 mile long trail that circles the community. With several other trail options to choose from, Manhattan makes a great stop to get out and enjoy the outdoors!
Entertainment isn’t always man-made. In Topeka you’ll find a large variety of parks, trails, and green spaces celebrating the beauty of nature. Venture down the Landon Nature Trail, part of the rails-to-trails movement which converts unused railroad lines to nature trails. Hike through the woods of Kaw River State Park, one of Kansas’ few urban parks in the state. Enjoy a picnic, hiking, or mountain biking at Cedar Crest Mansion & MacLennan Trails. Take in not only scenic views, but also history at Burnett’s Mound and the trails that lead to it’s peak.
Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage while on the historic walking trail through Lecompton. The trail is about one mile in length and passes by many historic sites and buildings.
The Baker University Wetlands and Discovery Center is a paradise for Baker University student biologists, ecologists, biochemists, and pre-health professionals. But students aren’t the only beneficiaries of the stunning 927-acre natural habitat. Stargazers, bird watchers, and exercise enthusiasts are always bustling around the area, which is open to the public. More than 11 miles of trails are open from dawn to dusk so you can hike the Wetlands until your heart’s content.
The Three-Mile Creek Walking Trail was installed by the City of Leavenworth in 2009 as a premiere paved walking and biking 1/2-mile trail. It is named for Three Mile Creek.
In 1827 when Col. Henry Leavenworth and his Dragoons first built Fort Leavenworth, they began measuring miles from the point where Fort Leavenworth’s flag is now found at the Main Parade Field on post. Several of the local creeks are named for their distance from the Fort Leavenworth flag and not the lengths: One-Mile Creek on post, Three-Mile Creek in Leavenworth, and Five-Mile Creek in Leavenworth and Lansing.
At times of high water, this trail will have sections closed because of flooding.
The two trailheads are at Seventh and Cherokee streets near Haymarket Square and at Leavenworth Landing Park. This trail joins with the trail at Leavenworth Landing Park where Three-Mile Creek joins with the Missouri River.
Shawnee Mission Park is 1,655 acres, making it the second largest park in Johnson County, and is the most visited park in the entire state of Kansas. The Park has five different hiking trails to choose from including a paved walking trail with lake views. Shawnee Mission Park Trail Map.
In addition to hiking trails the park also has a 120-acre lake with swimming beach and marina, 11 shelters, numerous picnic areas, playgrounds, an archery range, a 44-acre dog off-leash area, an 18-hole disc golf course, mountain biking, and equestrian trails.
Visitors can explore Kansas City, Kansas on foot or bike! The Armourdale Hike & Bike Route: Island View Loop is a 1.3 mile gravel trail that runs along the Kaw River and provides beautiful views, including an island frequented in the winter by nesting eagles. Learn more: Armourdale Hike & Bike Route: Island View Loop (visitkansascityks.com) .