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

Independence, Kansas Map
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hiking
muddy
scramble
26 days ago

Nice trail, back half much more challenging than the first half.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike for middle of nowhere Kansas. Following the map on this page, the first part of this hike takes you through the edge of the woods, right along the lake. Here there are ample opportunities to walk up to the lakeshore for a nice view. This also makes a perfect spot to set up your hammock. Once you cross the road the rock formations begin. I was surprised by the abundance of rock and their maze-like formation. There are plenty of markings to help you navigate this area.

hiking
bugs
muddy
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful hike that will make you feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore, but the recorded map for this trail is wrong. If you want to walk among the cool rock formations either (1) if you’re coming from the campground, bear left about 2.4 miles in and follow the blue paint marks, or (2) if you’re coming from the overlook, take the Table Mound Hiking Trail at the far right end of the parking lot and follow the blue paint from there. This route has the best spot to scramble down and hike among the rocks (very cool!) rather than just walk on top of them. Beware of LOTS of fresh spiderwebs across the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Start from the overlook. Don’t start from the end closest to the camping areas. Near the overlook, you can skip to all of the great rock formations. This BY FAR is the best trail in the Elk River Park.

on Table Mound Trail

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

Great trail, I ran into maybe 3 people during my entire trip and the route was relatively easy to follow. With that being said, there were several areas that were extremely muddy (which was managable for me, a relatively newbie) so just be sure to bring a good pair of shoes/boots. I had a bit of trouble parking (came from out of town), but if you just ask around people were super friendly and easily guided me. Best of luck!

hiking
6 months ago

I love this trail! When I lived in Independence I would hike it often! Lots of fun rock formations to climb on, overlooks and different terrain to trek through. You can definitely explore off the beaten path and easily in your way back. The only thing I would change is that it is a point A to point B trail. You can be strategic and put a vehicle at each end of the trail, or you can cut the trail short by heading east before you go to the highway.

hiking
bugs
muddy
6 months ago

Amatuer hiker and did about half the trail. Also did this with a 5yo which is why we didnt do the whole trail. Very nice moderate trail on a cool day. Enjoyed it alot and would come back to finish the trail. Couple of steep areas that was unsafe for the child, but was able to make it across with help from the adults.

7 months ago

Had a great time with this trail.. great views and really cool terrain. Can be challenging going to the higher trailhead

Easy little hike

hiking
7 months ago

Nice trail, decent views. Well maintained.

This is definitely a moderate trail with some parts pretty difficult especially if you are a little kid or poor balance. The trail was well marked and muddy in some spots but not too bad. Excellent workout with my dog and the views were great!!!

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Great hike for SE Kansas. A little muddy but doable. Enjoyed the morning.

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

Decent trail, with a few nice over looks. Took the kids and puppy. Little muddier than expected. Good day though.

Easy trail, starts on the left side of the overlook and follows the cliff line providing beautiful views. Practically impossible to get lost on. There are enough roots and rocks that this would not be a good trail for those with disabilities. About half way through the hike, there is access to the Table Mound trail if you are up for something a little more challenging and want to get a closer view of the rock formations you had been overlooking up top. Pleasant surprise to be found in Kansas..

hiking
8 months ago

me and my family was there early in the year. Trail is great needs alittle cleanup from the winter and fresh paint but will be doing it again.

muddy
9 months ago

A bit muddy in areas, strong winds off the lake. A beautiful late winter hike, great views of the beach and bluffs. Extremely well marked trail.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

An excellent trail (unlike anything I’ve seen in Kansas in terms of vegetation and topography) that winds along tall bluffs and through unique rock formations high above a scenic lake. Be sure to take a trash bag along, as the amount of trash I’ve encountered along the trail is truly disgraceful. On a single hike we hauled out 3 plastic bagfuls of trash.

hiking
Mon Dec 03 2018

Wow! I didn't expect such an interesting trail! First time to hike at this park, and the rock walls, boulder fields, and collapsed caves were a blast to hike through. It was fun to have a trail actually go through features like these. Plenty of highly visible orange blazes on this one. Remember that's it's an out-and-back trail, not a loop, so plan for getting back one way or another. Definitely moderate, but in some areas around the rock walls and cave-like areas, I think it would be more difficult for some people and/or dogs. I had to remove my pack in one narrow rock passage. Nice views of the lake in early December. Will definitely return.

Mon Aug 06 2018

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
Fri Aug 03 2018

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.

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

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

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