Explore the most popular camping trails in Kansas with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome trail that was very well marked. Super clean with some nice elevation changes. Plenty of streams and overall great trail!!

well maintained trail with some nice Kansas scenery. The wife, pup and I covered this in just over an hour while stopping at the lake for pictures.

hiking
30 days 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.

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.

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.

We put on bug spray before and came out absolutely covered in ticks

Cement walk that is nice and level. Very flat walked about half way, to where the bend is, from the fishing area. Not too scenic. Trees obstruct view of the water. Bathrooms by the fishing area were disgusting. We were mostly in the shade in the afternoon. Trees on the water side. Wide open field on the other side of the trail.

hiking
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Went in early September after a week of rain so the water level was higher than usual. It was cloudy out so not too hot. Beautiful trail. Rocktown was amazing and we were the only ones there. Spotted some deer, lizards, and turtles. Love this trail! We will be returning.

Nice loop with a neat spot in the middle to swim or just check out the rocks. Pretry easy trail. My mom hiked this trail with us and she is 82. We brought her a camp chair and she had a seat when she was tired. Very little shade so bring an umbrella is you plan to stick around. Steep entrance and exit.

Simple trail at the state park through a section of prairie

Great trail, went out for a short day hike today and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful bluffs over looking the lake, lot's of ups and downs. I look forward to completing the whole trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Really nice hike for Kansas. Some pretty views of the lake. The small "canyon" portion of the hike is very pretty as well.

3 months ago

fun trail. some parts were a little steep but manageable nothing to bad . was a very well maintained path .

Great first hike at Elk City. My boys and I ages 12, 9 and 7 took 33 minutes to complete.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is awesome, and not just for the area. It has enough challenging elements to keep it from being boring. The trail crosses a main road, if you want to skip the really challenging parts then just turn around there. If you are looking for an adventure cross the road and party on. I have athletic dogs built for trails and they had a blast. Wouldn't recommend older dogs or dogs that can't jump anymore to do the highest point of the trail across the road. We had to go off leash to naviagte some parts safely so a definite no if your dog has poor recall or has not been trained in recall.

hiking
3 months ago

I got to the trail head around 6:30 pm. Knowing sunset was at 8:30, I was bit nervous about finishing in time. The sign at the trailhead suggested that the hike would take about 3 hours. It took me a third of the time. I walked at a pretty brisk pace and didn’t stop to swim. I ended up finishing up in about an hour. The terrain is easy with a few rolling hills. The surface of the majority of the trail is mowed grass. Easy to walk on, and I even walked barefoot for some of it. The rock formations are really quite lovely. There were a couple boats parked there with people swimming and jumping from the rocks. I saw a couple lizard and a large variety of plants. As many have mentioned, it is Kansas Prairie and there is no shade, I did the hike late enough in the day that this was not an issue.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty, but we got hundreds of seed ticks today after we used bug repellent! Not worth it!

4 months ago

Hot day for a hike, but that swim half way through helped with the heat. It is a fairly hilly trail, but the 7 and 9 year old with me were able to enjoy it. Going on a Saturday evening meant that the water area was pretty crowded, but we still found a spot to climb and swim. I would definitely come back and hike it again.

walking
4 months ago

All depends on time of year for this trail. We went mid July and the heat was pretty bad especially without any shade. Also the scenic areas near the water were almost entirely occupied by pontoons and boats making the water access nearly impossible and a loud environment with music and beer bottles littered around the beach areas. We stuck only to the trails and ended up with a dermacentor tick on the sock despite bug spray. So make sure you do a good tick check afterwards. Despite the boats and the heat, id imagine in the late fall it would be really pretty. Lots of cacti, local plants, and rolling hills. The rock formations are also really great. Would not recommend doing this in the summer overall.

take this trail frequently to get to the best spot on the lake.

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.

Enjoyed this trail with my 4 year old daughter. Not hard but beautiful and fun to hike.

Really a beautiful trail. Lots of sights that you won't find commonly in Kansas. Some rock climbs here and there added to the fun and brought the challenge level up a bit. Picked up a few ticks, but not that big of an issue. Only real complaint is the cow crap. It's all over the trail and in some parts is hard to avoid.

I've been hiking/backpacking on this Trail for years, it was the first Trail my kids backpacked on when they were little. Hiked it from end to end today with a couple of friends, and it didn't disappoint. Wildlife sightings, beautiful views, mostly shaded. Sturdy boots highly recommended, and plenty of water is a must. (Don't depend on water sources along the trail.) Trail is very clearly marked!

This was my first moderate trail and I loved it. Never got boring and beautiful scenery. I will definatley be back!

on Lake Shawnee Trail

walking
5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Very cool trail. More technical/steep rocks sections than expected. Lots of creek crossings. Many turtles spotted on the trail. The trail is well marked with blue paint and metal sign mile markers on trees. When we decided not to go further we went up the hillside and there was plenty of flat shady area to set up camp. Try not to go right after any kind of rain if you’re not prepared for lots of mud. If your intent is to swim at any point you should start at the end point because the river water is stagnant dirty water.

hiking
6 months ago

Easily One of the best trails in the area. Enough rocks and rough to terrain to stay entertained but not so much that family can’t come along. Good views. Fun afternoon!

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