Take A Hike

Favorite hiking trails for families in the Northland

Our family prioritizes time outdoors and exploring nature because we have seen the impact it makes on our physical and mental health. Time in nature can help with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. For children, it can help them learn about self-regulations, boundaries, increase core and hand strength, encourage creativity, and more. 

Our favorite thing to do outdoors is to go hiking. Hiking helps me and my kids bond and create memories together. We always find new bugs, plants, and animals to talk about. If you’re considering hiking with your kids or grandkids these are some great places to explore together. 

Family-friendly trails not to miss: 

Hidden Valley: 4029 N Bellaire Avenue, Kansas City

This 3.2 mile loop trail starts across the street from the park, paved loop, and disc golf course. This is also a mountain biking course. 

Stocksdale Park:901 S. La Frenz Rd, Liberty

This park has six miles of paved and unpaved trails for hiking and biking, a playground, dog park, and disc golf course. 

Maple Woods Natural Area: 2617 NE 76th St, Gladstone

This one-mile trail has a creek, big rocks kids love to climb on, tons of paw paw trees, and great fall foliage. 

Hodge Park and Shoal Creek Living History Museum 

Shoal Creek Living History Museum: 7000 Northeast Barry Road, Kansas City

Hodge Park: 58 NE Reinking Rd, Kansas City

Hodge Park has a playground, baseball fields, a geocache, paved biking and mountain biking trails that connect to Shoal Creek Living History Museum. The Shoal Creek Living History Museum is an old village comprised of buildings from the 1800’s. They hold historical and holiday-based events once a month from April to December. 

Martha Lafite Nature Sanctuary: 407 N La Frenz Rd, Liberty

This nature sanctuary has a building with animals and easy loop trails for kids. They have a great creek for kids to play in. They hold events for families to learn about nature and host summer camps and have affordable, fun birthday party options for kids. 

Parkville Nature Sanctuary: 100 E 12 St, Parkville

These unpaved trails are pretty easy to hike and fun to explore. Follow the Old Kate Trail for the waterfall or the Blue Bird Trail for some natural play areas. The trails all intersect and loop back to the entrance and usually range between 1-3 miles. 

Green Hills of Platte Wildlife Preserve: 4730 N Green Hills Rd, Parkville

Green Hills of Platte has a few miles of trails to explore. Follow the gravel path to the top of the hill to discover a boardwalk and stepping stones. Or you can take the mulch trail to an outdoor classroom. This area has different fauna than you see on most trails in our area, making it unique. 

Weston Bend State Park:16600 MO-45, Weston

The Harpst Trail at Weston Bend State Park is .7 miles long and features a lookout of the Missouri River. My kids love the bluffs on this trail, although this may not be the best trail for new walkers due to some steep drops. The State Park has historical tobacco barns, camping, playgrounds, a paved biking trail, and miles of hiking trails. 

Line Creek: 5940 NW Waukomis Dr, Kansas City

This paved 8.4 mile trail is great for walking or biking. If you start from the trailhead down the hill from the Line Creek Community center and take a left, you will pass a waterfall. This is a great wading spot for kids. The Kansas City Northern Railroad is also at this trailhead. Kids love riding this mini train and parents love it because it is only .75 cents a ride (cash or check). 

Watkins Woolen Mill State Park: 26600 Park Road North, Lawson

This state park has a 3.8-mile paved hiking or biking trail around a lake. If you take the trail, look for wooden stairs, which will take you to a small waterfall. You can also hike to some historical buildings from the Visitor’s Center. Watkins Mills allows boating and has a beach and campsites as well. Be sure to stop in Kearney beforehand or afterward for lunch or dinner and lots of cute local shops. 

For more tips on getting outdoors with kids and outdoor locations in Kansas City and the Midwest follow @everdayoutdoorfamily on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.

"Hiking helps me and my kids bond and create memories together."

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