Explore the best 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.
dogs on leash
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.
Around 24 of us had a nice morning hiking 4 miles on this trail. The trail is relatively flat with mild elevation gain/loss. This trail is an out/back so you will cover the same ground twice.
The trail we hiked is on the west side of the dam (off of Osawatomie Road) where the marina and campgrounds are located. This is not the trails referenced in the initial map.