Whether you are looking for a place to walk your dog or some unforgiving trails for an intense day on the mountain bike, you will find a perfect park here in Kansas City. The city is well known for its sprawling spaces, clear lakes, and abundance of trails. KC Parks Department maintains nearly 12,000 acres made up of 220 parks, 87 sculptures, 48 fountains, and 29 lakes. To keep you active there are more than 100 miles of trails, 144 ball diamonds, and 105 tennis courts. It is safe to say that there is plenty here to keep you busy.
Below are a few favorite parks to put on your list to check out.
- Parkville Nature Sanctuary – If you appreciate natural beauty and wildlife you will spend a lot of time on the trails here. You will find waterfalls, streams, and an abundance of wildlife. The trails offer a nice variety too, so if you are looking for an easy walk, check out Katy Trail, but if you want to really raise your heart rate and sweat then the more strenuous White Tail Trail is for you.
- Loose Park – This is considered a gem in the city, and you will find it just south of Country Club Plaza. Loose Park Pond creates the perfect setting for a picnic, and there is a gorgeous rose garden, walking trail, and a fantastic playground.
- Blue Valley Disc Golf Course – What good are parks if there aren’t recreation options to add variety, right? This hilly world class course was established in 2005 and offers plenty of long shots and beautiful panoramic views. You will definitely want to bring a snack along.
- Little Blue Trace Nature Preserve – There is a quiet gravel trail here that is about 11 miles long. There are also a lot of connecting trails so you don’t have to stay on the main path. This is a fantastic trail to bike because it is rarely busy. You will follow streams, traverse over a bridge, and ride through grassland and wooded areas.
- Shawnee Mission Park – This is one of the state’s largest parks. More than 1,250 acres offer plenty of opportunity for camping, hiking, swimming, and fishing. There is also an 11-mile trail here as well. If you have a dog, bring him along. This park boasts one of the nicest off-leash dog parks around.
- Pleasant Valley Skatepark – The city just would not have a cool factor without a skatepark, now would it? The park is open to skateboarding and inline skating, and protective gear must be worn at all times. Here you will find a giant bowl with a spine and hips, as well as rails, stairs, and ledges.
- Macken Park – This park has been newly renovated and given a beautifully paved walking trail with plenty of shade. It has quickly become a favorite place for walking and running moms with strollers. There is also a nice tennis facility and places to picnic.
- Brush Creek Trail – This 4.1-mile trail runs along the north edge of Brush Creek. It offers a nice smooth concrete surface, but there are not a lot of shade trees so it is best reserved for fall through spring or early morning summer runs.
- Cliff Drive Scenic Byway – This is the only scenic byway in Missouri that travels through an urban area. The drive is beautiful but it is the premium trails next to the byway that attracts the outdoor enthusiast. The trail passes half-dozen springs and runs through a forest of mature maple. Biking and hiking are popular but if you are feeling adventurous, you can climb the steep bluffs for great views too.
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