North of Wichita and southwest of Salina, the Kanopolis State Park has 25 miles of horseback riding trails. The multi-use trail system rolls through sandstone formations and tall bluffs. Various looping routes can be formed.
The Horsethief Canyon area is a popular day use area. The most common day use area is presently Area C in Horsethief Canyon. Directly to the south of the parking lot are two trails. The right (purple) trail is Buffalo Tracks Canyon Trail, a hike only trail, 1.5 miles long. The left trail is the continuance of the Blue trail that starts a mile or so to the south. To the East of the parking lot there is a trail heading up a short climb and into the upper canyon area. The Horsethief Canyon Trail (16.5 mi.) runs above a small reservoir.
Trail Season - The Prairie trails and Alum Creek trails are closed to horseback riding and mountain bikes from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. This is a safety precaution during hunting season. Trails inside the park including Rockin K trails, Horsethief trails and Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail are open year-round. Portions of the trails may be closed duing high water because low water crossings become hazardous or impassable at times. Always approach crossings with caution.
Trail Access - All trails start in Kanopolis State Park, Camping equestrians use the Rockin K Campground, (trailhead A). Equestrians visiting for the day use Horsethief Canyon, (trailhead B). Hikers and mountain bikers use Buffalo Track Canyon, (trailhead C). Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private land.
Overall, Horsethief Canyon is the 1st most popular horse trail of all 4 horseback rides in Kansas.