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The state parks of Kansas and many wildlife and botanical gardens feature challenging and scenic trails that appeal to enthusiasts of all abilities.
Among the favored trails in the Sunflower State is the stunning Flint Hills Nature Trail. It covers approximately 117 miles as it runs through the Northeast and North Central Regions. It is among the longest in the United States.
Castle Rock, listed among Kansas’ “Eight Wonders,” features a trail that runs by the towering chalk formations and the Hackberry Creek Valley, near Scott City.
The Elk River Trail wins praise for its 15-miles of challenging pathway along waterfalls, caves, plank bridges, and other natural attractions.
Beginning hikers and cyclists will love the 9.3-mile Lawrence Levee Trail. It runs along the Kansas River and offers terrific farmland and city views.
Additional trails to consider: the Perry State Park Trails along the Perry Reservoir, the Agave Ridge Nature Trail with a start in the Page Creek Area of Cedar Bluff State Park and the 4.2-mile Chisholm Creek Park Nature Trail, known for its incredible wildlife and bird spotting opportunities.
Managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, the Prairie Spirit Trail covers 52 miles of beautiful eastern Kansas land. Bicyclers love riding on the trail, admiring the wildlife and small towns along the journey. Set out for an enjoyable walk along the trail to take a break from a busy day.
The trail passes through Ottawa, Princeton, Scipio, Richmond, Garnett, Welda, Colony Carlyle, and Iola. Stop along the way to visit the quaint shops and restaurants. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the deer, great-horned owls, fox squirrels, and ducks.