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Best Kansas City Metro-Area Parks for Spring Walks

Kansas City’s unpredictable weather has me constantly questioning which coat to wear as I walk out the door. Between the deathly cold and the icy roads, I was ready to hibernate until June first. However, this last weekend finally gave us the spring weather I’ve been waiting for: mild temperatures, sunny skies and a slight breeze. I took advantage of the day by embarking on one of my favorite activities- an outdoor walk. I love the exercise, the sense of community I feel seeing others who’ve also decided to spend their day walking and the opportunity to pet so many cute dogs. If you’re anything like me and you enjoy walking at all, check out some of these local trails and enjoy the hopefully-more-frequent beautiful weather!

Robert A. Gillham Park (41st Street and Gillham Road)

If you’re looking for a good place to walk near campus, look no further than Gillham Park, conveniently located between Volker and Hospital Hill campuses. The paved trails are just wide enough for you to pass a slower walker, but not too wide that you’d be worried about being run over by an aggressive biker. These trails are also close to a playground and tennis courts if you have post-walk plans. However, the best aspect of these trails is that they’re nestled within the Hyde Park neighborhood, so if you leave the trail, you can walk the sidewalks and look at the historic homes. I’ve definitely found my dream house at least three separate times.

Black Hoof Park (9053 Monticello Rd, Lenexa, KS 66220)

If you’re willing to drive a bit into Kansas, Black Hoof Park in Lenexa is worth the time. This park has trails around Lake Lenexa, the beautiful dam and spillway and the nearby fancy homes. This picturesque area is the best mix between suburb, forest and park. I would take a picnic out there and make a whole day of it!

Indian Creek Greenway Trail (103rd Street and Stateline Road)

I’m not entirely how far this trail goes, but I’ve biked multiple miles in both directions from this address, and I still haven’t found the northern end. This trail is the perfect way to get out of the city without having to drive a long distance. If you walk south into Kansas, you can walk through multiple parks and ultimately end up in Leawood. If you walk north, you wind around the river, through southern KC. This is also a great place to fish, skip rocks and bike. 

English Landing Park (8701 McAfee St, Parkville, MO 64152)

No tour of the metropolitan Kansas City area is complete without exploring North Kansas City. Parkville is a quaint town with small businesses galore, and English Landing Park is right by the main street of businesses. The trails at English Landing Park are situated right beside the Missouri River, and the benches along the river are perfect for watching the sunset or enjoying an early morning coffee. 

Longview Lake (9898 Raytown Road, Kansas City, MO 64134)

If you’re willing to drive out of the city but want to stay in Missouri, you have to stop by Longview Lake. The walking trails around the lake are truly serene, probably because the whole area is a park, with no busy roads or houses in sight. The trails are wide enough for walking and biking, yet the place has never been crowded. Even better, you can rent boats and kayaks at the marina nearby, so your walk can turn into an all-day outdoor adventure.

If you can’t tell from this list, I’m so excited for the upcoming spring and summer. I plan on spending as much time outside enjoying the weather as I can. I hope these recommendations help you find your new favorite walking spot.

Hi, my name is Caroline Moriarty, and I'm a senior at UMKC majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Studies and Anthropology. I am involved with College Democrats, Student Government Association, the College of Arts and Sciences, and St. Paul's Outreach on campus. I am passionate about helping students become more informed about the world they live in, both locally and beyond.
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