This was the most challenging and by far the most beautiful trail my dog Shiloh and I have hiked in the area thus far. The trailhead's can be tricky to find around road crossings, so keep your head on a swivel. Few muddy spots on the bridal trail, but not a problem. Such an awesome time, gonna be sore for a couple of days....but we'll be doing this one many more times!!☺
The trail map shown on this page, while traversable for experienced runers, bikers and hikers, is really meant to be a horse trail. From a maintenance standpoint, trees that fall across that trail are cut out, but that's about it. Mid-summer brings overgrowth (I saw the someone mentioned stinging nettle below). The trail is straight up and down the peaks and valleys surrounding the lake and is full of deep hoof prints. A lap around the lake on that trail will get you right at 10 mi. Alternately, there's nearly 15 mIles of hand cut singletrack trail that winds its way between the lake shoreline and the road that circles the entire lake. These trails are concentrated on either side of the lake dam, with a larger portion of trail being located on the east side of the dam. Parking and acess to the east trail system is just uphill from shelter 9. The west side trails are accessible from shelter 14. These trails are well maintained, designed to be sustainable and were built with hikers, runners and mountain bikers in mind. Horses are not allowed on these trails, with the interests of safety and sustainability in mind. The trails are maintained by Urban Trail Co. A non-profit that is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of most, if not all of the 130+ miles of singletrack trail in the immediate Kansas City area. UTC's website has detailed maps of not only WYCO, but all of the great trails in the area. If you're interested in volunteering for their cause you can sign up on the site as well! Just copy/paste the link below:
I decided to hike this loop today and there happened to be a race on a large portion of these trails. The route was marked with flags so I didn't get lost, but had it not been marked I would have had trouble in a few spots. Overall there were a few muddy spots but nothing bad, lots of hills and rocks. Lots of others trails in the park to explore as well.
Just finished doing some hiking on the mountain bike trails on the NE side of the lake. We followed the advice of another review and skipped the Bridle Trail and drove to Shelter 9 before getting on a trail there. The trials are clearly marked with maps at most entrances (or do like we did and take a picture before you get into the woods). Trails are very well maintained and the entire park was one of the cleanest that I've seen in the Kansas City area. Will definitely be returning!
This is my favorite set of trails in KC (I mostly trail run/hike). Skip the bridle trail it's covered in horse poop. Instead drive around the lake to shelter 9 and get on the mountain bike trail. Scenery is A+ and the change in elevation makes it a great workout without being too rocky. Lots of wildlife. Fairly buggy. But oh so worth it.
The Bridle loop can be overgrown in places but can be very beautiful and has a surprising elevation changes. My favorite part of the entire park is the cluster of trails maintained by the Trail Masons Association, there's about 11 miles of trails clustered together and is very well marked and maintained. There are even trail maps with a QR code to download a map to your phone.
It's important to note there are a number of different trails in WyCo Lake Park. The "Bridle Trail" is a 9+ mile continuous loop around the entire lake. This trail is very rutted in places, subject to serious mud, relatively hilly and poorly marked. I've found this to be a good training trail for tougher terrain. I'm only giving it 3 stars because of the poor marking and need of maintenance.
The mountain biking trails on the northeast side are better maintained and marked.
Walked about 4.6 miles of the Bridle Trail before calling it quits. The trail is so deeply rutted from horses that it's not much fun for hikers. The trail is not marked very well. You will emerge from the woods into a clearing with no idea where the trail is. The main road parallels and bisects the trail in numerous spots, making it difficult to hike with my dog.
We walked the bridal trail as that is the trail we found. It was a nice trail for the first couple of miles. We then passed a group of about a dozen horses who had really chopped up the muddy parts of the next mile. This made it very difficult. I hope there are other trails to walk as this is a beautiful place but don't want to hike a horse torn trail.