June is Great Outdoors Month! Have you been getting outside with your service unit at Day Camp? Perhaps your girl attended Resident Camp at Camp Daisy this month? Well, if you haven’t ventured outside with your girl yet this month, lace up your hiking boots or throw on your tennis shoes and hit one or all of these hiking trails we’ve found for you!
Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
The trails at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary are perfect for the novice hiker. There are multiple short trails that connect to each other if you want to extend your trek! There are some paved and others are dirt/gravel/woodchip. There is plenty to see and explore all throughout the Nature Sanctuary, but they do ask that you leave your four-legged walking buddies at home.
Gary L. Haller Trail
Johnson County, KS
Located west of I-435 and I-35 is a 17.5 mile loop trail, which happens to be the longest trail in Johnson County. There are eight public access stations with a variety of amenities such as restrooms, water fountains, play structures and shelters. The entire trail is paved and is great for bikes and furry friends are welcome, just be sure to clean up after them! If the 17.5 mile loop is a little much for you, don’t fret! Just start at one of the public access point and pick a direction and go as far as you like, then head back!
Katy Trail State Park
The Katy Trail is one of the most popular trails in the state of Missouri. This trail was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad corridor and ceased operations in 1986. This scenic trail is 238 miles long and is great to separate into segments and experience multiple times! The trail begins in Clinton, MO and follows the Missouri River and concludes in Machen, MO just outside of St. Louis. There are multiple access points and the trail is relatively flat, great for biking and hiking alike. There are many small towns along the trail that offer overnight accommodations for those who want to experience the trail over multiple days!
Riverfront Heritage Trail
Kansas City, MO
Take in Kansas City like you never have before on this 10-mile paved pathway through the Kansas City bi-state area! This trail is one of the first of its kind in Kansas City and winds through the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the city. There are historical markers along the trail system that will map out the history of the area for pedestrians and bicyclists!
Flint Hills Nature trail
East Central Kansas
Similar in concept to the Katy Trail, the Flint Hills nature trail was developed from an old railway system as well. It’s 117 miles in length across east central Kansas and passes through five counties. This trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists and horseback riders! The Flint Hills are home to abundant prairie plant and wildlife species and in some areas the route travels along the Marais Des Cynges River between rushing waters and towering bluffs. This is the longest trail in the state of Kanas! There are more than a dozen access points, some with nearby parking and camping/lodging. Take a day and explore the Flint Hills!
St. Joseph, MO
This nine mile trail runs north and south through St. Joseph, MO and is great for walkers, joggers, cyclists, inline skater and wheel chair users! The trail system is a mix of paved trails and sidewalks taking the trail through the city and even over I-29. There are many extensions off the main trail that connect to many of the city’s amenities and attractions!
This is just a tiny list of the awesome trails in our area. To find and explore more trails, near and far from you, check out Urban Trail Co., American Trails or your areas parks and recreation website!
When you get outdoors with your Girl Scout this month, use #gsoutdoors and #gsksmo so we can see how you’re celebrating this month! Just remember to take lots of water with you when you hit these trails and try to avoid being outside in the afternoon when it’s the hottest! It may only be June, but the summer heat is here!