Located in the US, the hiking in Kansas offers more than a half-dozen beautiful hikes and backpacking trails. The best Kansas hiking based on popularity are considered to be Elk River National Recreation Trail, Kanopolis State Park, Perry State Park, El Dorado State Park, and Turkey Trail. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a Kansas hiking trail below.
Southeast of Wichita and northeast of Independence in the Elk City State Park, the 15 mile Elk River Trail is a nice ridge walk in the foothills of the Ozarks. It coils around the north shore of 13,000-acre Elk City Lake and up and down giant limestone boulders. There are steep climbs to lakeside panoramas alternate with twisty rambles through thick woods of eastern red cedar, buckthorn, and shagbark hickory.
North of Wichita and southwest of Salina, the Kanopolis State Park has 25 miles of hiking trails. The multi-use trail system rolls through sandstone formations and tall bluffs. Various looping routes can be formed.
Northeast of Wichita and El Dorado in the Flint Hills, the 2,000 acre El Dorado State Park has several hiking trails that are shared with mountain bikers. The park encircles a large reservoir. There are short trails near the dam, and a long 10 mile trail in the north.
North of Elkhart in the Cimarron National Grasslands, the Turkey Trail is a 10.5 mile one-way hiking route. The Turkey Trail begins at the far eastern end of Cottonwood Picnic Grounds near the southern end of the Cimarron River bridge on highway 27. The trail ends one mile east of Wilburton Crossing. The trail runs along an old dirt road and is relative flat, though sandy.
Southeast of Topeka and southwest of Lawerence in the Clinton State Park, the Lake Clinton North Shore Trail system has two hiking trails totaling 25 miles. There is an easy blue route and a difficult white route with steep climbs and rocky stream crossings.
West of Salina and north of Wilson on Wilson Lake, the 945 acre Wilson State Park has a hiking trail network, which includes the 13 mile Switchblade Grass Bike Trail. The winding trails roll through open prairie grass meadows.