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.