4 Hikes to Get your Blood Flowing in the KC Area

When you think of Kansas City, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t hiking. But you might be surprised to find that there are several great hiking trails to explore in Kansas City metro area, with many of them less than 30 minutes from downtown. 

Here, a few of Exploring Roots favorite hikes in Kansas City – plus one bonus road-trip hike – in hopes that we’ll see you out on the trails! 


Swope Park Trail System

12 minutes from Downtown: Swope Park Trail System

5601 Oakwood Rd, Kansas City, MO 64132

All photos courtesy of Exploring Roots photographer, Kelly Pullen.

All photos courtesy of Exploring Roots photographer, Kelly Pullen.

Did you know Kansas City’s largest park is located just 12 minutes from Downtown? Swope Park is among the largest urban parks in the United States, and it’s easy to get lost in its 1,805 acres. Enjoy a show at Starlight Theatre or the exhibits at the Kansas City Zoo, but don’t forget to explore Swope Park’s hiking trails while you are there. Mountain Bike Trail is one of our favorite spots in the park whether you are hiking or biking.


Platte County Parks & Recreation – Line Creek Trail

17 minutes from Downtown

2699 NW 60th St, Kansas City, MO 64151 

Line Creek Trail.JPG

Platte County is full of gorgeous trails, and the Line Creek Trail is one you don’t want to miss. The eight mile trail has a concrete surface, so it’s popular with runners, bikers and families.


Parkville Nature Sanctuary – The Jim Reed Trail System

18 minutes from Downtown

100-198 E 12 St, Parkville, MO 64152

Parkville Nature Sanctuary.JPG

The Parkville Nature Sanctuary is a 117 acre natural outdoor area just north of Kansas City. The trails are an oasis for wildlife, have gorgeous waterfalls and includes an ADA-accessible trail spur to accommodate a wide variety of hikers. The trail system ranges from .1 mile to three miles in total.


Lake Jacomo Trail System

26 minutes from Downtown

7401 West Park Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Lake Jacomo.JPG

One of the newest trail systems in Kansas City is located at Lake Jacomo in Blue Springs. These trails just opened up last weekend and have been designed to provide solitude in a natural environment. Beautiful Missouri limestone bluffs provide a perfect backdrop to a more challenging hike. Between trails, don’t forget to relax in Sailboat Cove.


Best Road-Trip Hiking Destination in Missouri: Ha Ha Tonka – Lake of the Ozarks

1491 Missouri D, Camdenton, MO 65020

Ha Ha Tonka 1 Photo by Kelly Pullen.jpg

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located less than 3 hours from Downtown Kansas City, and boasts of Missouri’s 12th largest spring, sinkholes, caves, and a large natural bridge. Exploring Roots recently spent an afternoon exploring the area with Police Athletic League and youth living in Kansas City’s urban core. In addition to some kids experiencing hiking for the very first time, highlights of the day were seeing the ground’s castle ruins and filtering fresh spring water to drink.


Exploring Roots is a Kansas City-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build healing relationships between people and nature for the well-being of both.