Horse Thief Trail

EASY 75 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Horse Thief Trail is a 1.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Marquette, Kansas that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.9 miles
141 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching






wild flowers


over grown

no shade

Start on Buffalo Trail to Horse Thief Trail and take the blue short cut back to trail head. You get a little of everything out of the hike from bouldering to prairie lands and wooded areas this is the spot in Kansas.

17 days ago

Sections of the trail weren't marked very well and there are more than a few areas that were not as easy to get through due to icy/muddy conditions. But it is a nice trail with good views of a variety of types of Kansas nature.

1 month ago


4 months ago

When in the area I will definitely return. This is a great trail close-ish to my hometown. The lake was flooded so we didn’t get to do the entire trail; however, what we were able to do convinced me to return sometime. There wasn’t anyone else there on this fall day. We saw lots of birds, a pelican even, tons of deer and great rocks.

4 months ago

I personally didn't think this trail was marked well at all. I got off it real easy and had to use the app to find it again which was sorta sad for me because I usually keep on task. lol I believe I missed half of it cause as soon as I walked in, I walked out. I dunno if I got off track and took a short cut.

4 months ago

For hiking and horseback riding it's great, not so much for mountain biking. The sand is too loose. we had to walk our bikes more than half the way.

5 months ago


5 months ago

beautiful place. nice trails. usually well maintained. always surprisingly trash free. many nice vistas. while overall it's an easy walk there are a few paces where you really need to pay attention.

7 months ago

Loved this hike! Beautiful views and well marked trails. Beware though, LOTS of poison ivy and a few parts of the trails that were very wet so dress appropriately.

9 months ago

Horse thief trail is part of a much larger trail that runs throughout the park. It varies in terrain. The trail has a ton of ticks. Bring spray. Be prepared to cross through water. Plenty of wildlife.
This would be the best hike in Kansas if it wasn’t for the ticks.

9 months ago

This trail is STUNNING! Be sure to bring lots of water and a hat if you are attempting this in the summer, lots of sun exposure. Pay close attention to the map as it gets a bit tricky. But this scenery here is the prettiest I've seen in Kansas. This would be a 5-star for me if it wasn't for the insane amount of poison ivy. I plan on going back for a spring-time hike.

The good: beautiful views, fun trail terrain.

The bad: lots of poison ivy, little shade from sun exposure.

10 months ago

11 months ago

We drove approximately 2 hours after seeing an article online about the caves and hiking tails on Facebook. It was so worth the drive! Trails were decently marked, and there were a few areas of low water crossing. $5 to get a parking pass. There’s also an area where there are prairie dogs as you are entering the State Park

11 months ago

Visited on St. Patty's day; clear, breezy day, 58 degrees absolutely beautiful! I don't know that it would be this nice in the middle of summer. Who knew this gem of earth was nestled in the middle of Kansas! Must explore more!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A 2 1/2 hour drive to this trail was worth every rainy mile. Rock formations were spectacular with carved graffiti dated back to 1918. The caves were various sizes and many to see. The worn path was mostly sand and in some areas soft dirt. There is also a horse path. The creek water was clear. We saw deer, a bald eagle and various trees gnawed by beaver. I enjoyed some new scenery. Kanopolis Lake was much larger than I expected. This is a State Park so a few of $5.00 is required. I never have an issue paying State Park fees.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Rolling prairie with some nice rock ledges and caves. The majority is easy hiking. However, you can get into moderate difficulty if you choose to climb up/down the rock ledges and to/from the caves.

Fascinating documented history about this Canyon includes Native Americans using it to corral their horses; old West horse thieves running their stolen livestock into it for corralling; and the Jesse James gang hid their bounty in this Canyon on occasion and then came back later to retrieve it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

This was a perfect hike for a beginner in my opinion. The rocks are beautiful and the trails are labeled and easy to follow. There is just a slight challenge on the rocks depending on which route you take. It took me about two hours taking my time to finish. My two bottles of water was enough for me. I can't wait to go back when the leaves change! Make sure your phone is charged so you can see where you are on the map within this app! And have a backup battery because it ate mine when I tried to record my trip, so I just checked in.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

It was a fun hike. It was muddy and slightly underwater in places, so it would be good to bring a second set of socks and shoes There was minimal shade, so sunscreen and a hat is necessary. It is easy to get confused on the trails. We were glad we started recording our hike on the app at the start as without it we might have not found where we parked, at least not very easily.

mountain biking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

It was very muddy when we rode this trail. Very nice for Kansas!!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Great scenic trail. Beware of ticks and lack of markings, however.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

First ever hike using the all trails app, loved this! I definitely wouldn't have been able to stay on course without it. The views are beautiful but the trails are badly marked and the last half mile of this trail loop is closed. No clue why, it's just a bit overgrown, but of course nothing tells you that until you're almost home. Trail marker posts weren't readable in a few cases. There is 3G in the area so I was able to track myself without having downloaded the map, but I would highly recommend downloading it first. Without this app I would not have known where to go. Saw a lot of snakes, lizards, birds, and even a turtle! Hiked with my Great Dane and had a lovely time! I gave this trail only three stars because of the poor markings.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We made a start on our plan to hike a list I found called "The 10 Best Hikes in Kansas" by trying the Horsethief Canyon Trail at the first state park established in Kansas. It is almost exactly an hour and a half from our house in Manhattan, Ks, and the change in topography is astounding. We had a blast exploring. Hiked about 4 miles, taking 3 hours to stare at rocks, bugs, birds, caves, wildflowers, take pictures and find ways to cross the "deep water crossings". We loved this place, AND there are still 21 miles of trail in the park that we haven't hiked! The list just got longer. Be aware that while you can find your way across most of the marked "deep water crossing", there was on at the north end of the lake (blue trail) that even the horses have to swim. We turned around at the last ridge and back tracked...which was fine. It made the hike longer, and trails look completely new when going in the other direction.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great trails. My six year old had a blast climbing all of the rocks and exploring caves! We went off the loop and ended up going about 5 miles. We live 2 hours away and will definitely come back! Tick alert! We all had ticks on us when we got home.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spent some time here to celebrate the first day of Spring. Off the beaten path, but there were several other hikers. Not very much green yet. Would love to come back in May for the wildflowers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Great hiking with the kids!! We especially enjoyed all of the caves!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

easy but not boring

Saturday, October 15, 2016

We hiked this trail a couple of years ago and found it to be quit pleasant. No problems for my husband who has alot of back pain, trekking poles come in handy for crossing the couple of small creeks you encounter. You can easily get up to some caves and there is a brochure that tells about where the Buffalo would come down into the canyon & how the canyon was used to hide horses.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Beautiful trail in the heart of KS

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Lots of fun once we found it. Pretty sure it's impossible to walk the trail that is on this map, but had a blast on this trail. By far my favorite trail in KS so far. Can't wait to get back out here again.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

great trail over prairie and through dakota sandstone bluffs

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Awesome trail, a lot of scenery, white tail deer, caves, prairie,rock formations,only five $ for a day pass, can't wait to go again.......

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