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Monday, December 5, 2022

KANSAS : 7 of the Most Scenic Hikes You Can Make in Kansas

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7 Most Scenic Hikes of kansas

Kansas is a state that you must pass for many who hail from the East Coast and the Midwest. Kansas is flat, however it does not mean boring. Kansas ranks seventh on the list for flatness. Florida and Illinois are the first and second most flat states, respectively.

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There are many beautiful places to wander in the Sunflower State. You won’t even need to cough. Many of these hikes require permits from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. A daily permit is $5 and a $25 yearly pass is $25. The majority of these hikes are close to Interstate 70. Therefore, anyone driving east and west can walk to break up their drive.

Kings Creek Loop Trail, Konza Prairie Natural Area

This hike is a fascinating glimpse into what early settlers saw when they decided to set roots: acres upon acres of bluestem grass prairie grasses.

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The Kings Creek Loop Trail, Konza Prairie Natural Area, is approximately 4.5 mi long. Kansas State students, who live just up the road from this area, are studying it in an effort to conserve the prairie. This is where the Flint Hills meet the forest. They run from Oklahoma to Kansas in the northeastern part of the state. Some hills have broken glades because of the flinty rocks that have appeared on the prairie dirt in many places. Consider taking a sunset walk when the prairie turns golden.

Badger Creek Trail, Fall River Badger Creek Trails

This hike takes you around Fall River Lake which is about 70 miles east-west of Wichita. It is unusual for Kansas to have it completely covered by forests. You might have difficulty finding the trail when the leaves are gone in fall. Bring a map. Additionally, you will not have cell phone service and will need paper. Badger Creek is a small trail that runs 7 miles with beautiful views of the lake.

Horsethief Canyon. Kanopolis State Park

This is the top pick for Kansas’s best hiking. TravelAwaits offers a selection of the best hikes throughout all 50 US states. The Horsethief Valley hike is located in Kanopolis State Park close to Ellsworth. Kanopolis is the Kansas’ first state park. It features sandstone boulders, caves, as well as Horsethief Canyon. The section marked orange is the most strenuous and takes you into narrow, rocky canyons. Water crossings are possible, which can provide for some fun times. The trail is easy to follow and only 5 miles in length. Great views of Kanopolis Lake will be available to you. Take a walk to the dam, and stop by the waterfall.

There are two spots worth visiting near Horsethief Canyon. Mushroom Rock state park is my favorite. These rock pillars were formed by unusual erosion, and then topped off with larger rocks. The rocks are made from beach sands and sediments which were eroded, but the rock with the harder tops remained. This was a popular meeting place for pioneers as well as native tribes.

Perry State Park

Perry State Park lies just northeast to Topeka which is the state capital. Perry Lake, the centerpiece of this park, was established by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACoE) in 1966 to reduce flooding and provide recreation. The name says it all: “Paradise of the Plains”.

There are 29 miles (or so) of trails available to the public in and around the lake. There are many trails to choose from, some with easy slopes, others with more challenging climbs. There are 160 miles of shoreline along the lake’s shoreline, so most hikes offer stunning views. Some trails drop down to the water’s edges.

Cedar Bluff State Park, Agave Ridge Loop

Cedar Bluff State Park’s Agave Ridge Loop straddles Cedar Bluff Reservoir. The Great Plains Yucca plants are the trail’s name. The trail begins on a paved path with plenty of signage about local fauna and flora. About one mile in, the trail changes to a more primitive dirt and gravel path. At the end of the hike, look out for the 100-foot tall bluffs that drop into the water. They are topped with cedar trees, which give the park its title.

Dodge City Trails

Dodge City is located in the southwestern corner of the state. It was once a significant cowtown due to the tick that forced Texas cattle drivers to move to western Texas. Kansas farmers, on the other hand, demanded a quarantine border to keep the ticks from their farms.

Dodge City offers many walking trails and other outdoor activities. Named for the TV series, Gunsmoke Trail runs through Dodge City. It also features plenty of Old West history.

Just 9 miles from Dodge City, you will find the Santa Fe Trail’s remnants. This was the original route for many pioneers. The 150-year-old wagon wheel tracks can still be seen.

Elk River Hiking Trail. Elk City State Park

The hike will take you around Elk City Lake. It is approximately 15 miles round trip. However, you have the option to do as little or as much as your heart desires. This hike has been given a National Trails designation. Due to the many canyon streams that run into the lake, expect some up-and down hiking. Wear sturdy hiking shoes as the trail can be rugged and rocky. Be sure to look out for the bluffs at the lake. They offer spectacular views.

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