16 Best Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures Around Wichita

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There’s nothing we love more than getting outside, especially when it involves exploring, hiking, or biking around the Wichita area. We asked dozens of Wichita families, and below are some favorite kid-friendly outdoor adventures and spots local parents take their kids when they need to get out of the house.

Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures Around Wichita

Before visiting any parks or trails, we recommend checking their social media or websites to confirm they are open. 

EAST WICHITA

Chisolm Creek Park– East Wichita, entrances off of Woodlawn and Oliver
– K-96 Bike Path runs around the park
– Nature Trail 
– Great Plains Nature Center within the park
– Island Pond for fishing
 
– 1.25 mile walking path around the lake
– Lake stocked with fish
 
Red Bud Trail– Andover, East Wichita
– Hiking
– Biking
– 11.27 miles 80th St. and Perry Creek Road (Andover) and I-135 west of N. Minneapolis St. (Wichita)
– Trails are part concrete/paved, part gravel

WEST WICHITA

Pawnee Prairie Park – Southwest Wichita (Tyler Road entrance)
– Nature & hiking trails
– Bike path
– Dogs allowed
Swanson Park – West Wichita off of Maize Road
– Nature Trail
– Wildlife Habitat Area
 
Sedgwick County Park– West Wichita, near the zoo
– 4 miles of paths for walking/running 
– 4 miles of bike path

DOWNTOWN WICHITA 

– Walk the trail along the Arkansas River, starting near Exploration Place by the Keeper
– Bonus fun: find Wichita’s troll
– Other really great walking trails in downtown Wichita here

NEAR WICHITA (LESS THAN ONE HOUR DRIVE)

Santa Fe Lake Trail– Augusta 
need annual pass for $50 during CoronaVirus Crisis
– we recommend hiking to the waterfall (near the first parking lot)
– little beach for swimming
– hiking, biking, and dogs allowed
– 5 miles of walking trails
-woodlands, tallgrass prairie, and beach
 
Dillon Nature Center – Hutchinson
– 100 acre “wild arboretum”
– 3 miles of trails

NEAR WICHITA (MORE THAN ONE HOUR DRIVE)

– 40 miles of hiking trails
– Southwind Nature Trail 1.75 miles
– Fox Creek Trail 6 miles (possible turkey/deer sightings)
– potential for bison sighting 
 
Cowley State Fishing Lake – near Dexter/Ark City
– waterfall to hike to and several mini falls
– Recommendation to “wear shoes” and no pets
– Fishing allowed
– Near Dexter, home to Henry’s Candy Factory (where you can watch ribbon candy being made and taste test)
 
Geary State Park– Junction City
– beautiful waterfalls
– Fishing at Geary State Fishing Lake
 
Kanopolis State Park – near McPherson
–  25 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking
– Buffalo Track Nature Trail 1.5 miles with plants and wildlife (look for the caves!)
– Fishing
Butcher Falls – Sedan
– Located on Red Buffalo Ranch (open to public)
– Mini water falls and swimming hole with cliff jumping
 
Elk River Trail – Independence
– 15 miles of “the best hiking” in KS
– woodsy, streams & ravines, caverns
– near the edge of the Ozarks (and beautiful)

SCENIC DRIVES

– beautiful tallgrass prairie
– deep winding valleys carved by streams
– property off the roads is private
Gypsum Hills or Red Hills of Kansas – Medicine Lodge
– region of rolling hills, canyons, and buttes
– surrounded by red cedar trees
– “two of Kansas’ most picturesque landscapes”

Other Helpful Adventure Resources

 

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