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Great Outdoors
Hit The Trails In Kansas
For more than 150 years, trails have criss-crossed Kansas and played a major role in the history and development of the state.   Thousands of pioneers and traders moved along the Santa Fe and Oregon trails.   Later, millions of cattle were herded along the great cattle trails such as the Chisholm and Great Western.  Kansas still boasts an extensive trail network, but today they are used much differently than in they were in the past. Approximately 2,000 miles of recreational trails for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrian trail riders, birders or anyone wanting to enjoy the great outdoors are offered in virtually every corner of the state. Challenging biking, hiking and riding trails are found at Clinton, Kanapolis and Tuttle Creek State Parks, among others. For those wanting an easier walk, hike or ride, there are numerous paved and natural trails all across the state. Notably, the state’s only rail trail is the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail, which extends from Ottawa to Iola in eastern Kansas, and is open to both cyclists and walkers. Many trails of all types are found conveniently near I-70, and readily accessible by those traveling throughout the state, including those at Clinton Lake, Tuttle Creek State Park and Wilson Lake.

According to Mike Goodwin, treasurer of the Kansas Trails Council, ”The 15-mile Switchgrass Trail at Wilson State Park is a beautiful trail for hikers, runners and bikers, offering incredible scenery along the many bluffs overlooking the lake.” Continues Goodwin, “Almost everyone in Kansas can discover a trail in their own backyard. With nearly 2,000 miles of trails, we have tremendous opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful scenery of Kansas.” One of the newest trail projects in Kansas is in the southeast part of the state, where a 30-mile hiking and biking trail is being developed at Fall River Lake. The trail currently offers more than 10 miles of prairie and forested trail sections on the north side of the lake, where the Ozark forests and prairie converge.

For a downloadable map of trails in Kansas, visit the Kansas Trails Council website at The map denotes whether trails are open to hikers, bikers, or equestrians. In addition, more information about horse trails is available at the Kansas Horse Council website, Visit for more information on outdoor opportunities throughout the state of Kansas. Visit for more information on travel in Kansas, or to receive a free copy of the Kansas Great Outdoors Guide.
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