Explore with Kids: Wichita Wild Habitat Areas

12 Wichita Wild Habitat Areas in Wichita to Explore with Kids

If you are in for a fun (and free!) outdoor adventure with kids, you should explore what the Wichita Wild Areas have to offer. Whether you are looking for lake trails, forest hikes, mountain bike paths, or even horse riding courses, Wichita’s got your back. If you want to combine a little of the wild experience with paved trails and playgrounds, you have plenty of options, too.

Wichita Wild Habitat Areas around Riverside Park in Wichita

Oak Park

1100 W 11th St N, 67203 | 37.50 acres

Oak Park is beautiful. Located near North Riverside Park, when visiting Oak park you can walk in the nature trails through the wooded area or enjoy the 18-hole frisbee disc golf course. It also contains a lily pond and open stretches of lawn. 

Sim Park

2020 W Murdock, 67203 | 181.48 acres

This park is better known by the Municipal Golf Course and the Old Cowtown Museum resting on it, but the Sims Memorial Park also has a large picnic area, with charcoal grills, drinking fountains, picnic tables, and restrooms. You can also find exercise/fitness trails and a wild habitat area. It’s crossed by the Arkansas Rivers Bicycle Path and the Downtown Bikeway.

Mead Island

1300 N Bitting, 67203

If you are all in for a wild/aquatic adventure you may consider visiting this 5-acre island located on the Little Arkansas River, and it is accessible only by boat.

Wichita Wild Habitat in Northeast Wichita 

Chisholm Creek Park

3228 N Oliver, 67220 | 216.7 acres

This beautiful park, just south of the K-96 bypass, features a 1.6 miles nature trail along Chisholm Creek which includes a wetlands area. The Great Plains Nature Center is also located within the park.

Besides the nature trails, there are fishing ponds and K-96 Bicycle Path crosses it. The park picnic amenities include charcoal grills, an open shelter, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. There is a good-sized parking lot.

Glen Dey Park

2801 N. Grove, 67219/ 2850 N Hillside St, 67219 | 125.85 acres

This park is very close to Chisholm Creek Park and part of the K-96 bicycle path runs through the park. The wild habitat area is just by the path and it’s really beautiful. The park has picnic amenities, basketball courts, and football fields. There are three parking lots, two by Grove Street and another one by Hillside Street. 

There are two Children’s playgrounds, and my kids -11 years old!- loved both of them, especially the zip line on the western side of the park.

Hellers Park

4401 Arkansas, 67204 | 32.00 acres

This park is a natural setting located adjacent to the Earhart Environmental Magnet School. The walking trail is well maintained and for a good portion of it, it’s wide and even. I managed to walk a mile on it and it was a pleasant experience.

Wichita Wild Habitat Areas in West Wichita 

Meadows Park

12551 W. Maple, 67235 | 51.38 acres

This park, adjacent to Auburn Hills Golf Course includes a playground area, a fishing pond, and a pedestrian path. To reach the walking path, you’ll have to park in the shopping center at 119th & Maple or along the street in the Auburn Hills neighborhood (you’ll see the sign indicating where to enter the path!).

Swanson Park

955 N Maize, 67212 | 93.22 acres

The entry drive and parking lot are located on Maize road and the pedestrian access to the nature trails is at this parking lot. The park features nature trails and a paved walking path. There are benches along the paved path and some picnic tables.

Wichita Wild Habitat Areas in Southwest Wichita 

Pawnee Prairie Park

2625 S Tyler, 67209 /10050 W Pawnee St, 67209 | 624.49 acres

Pawnee Prairie Park, just by the Eisenhower National Airport, is the bigger wild area in Wichita. It has nature trails that serve hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. There are informational kiosks to help you find your path and understand trail etiquette. Walkers and hikers can use all the trails, but bikers and horse riders should check the allowed trails for them. The bike path connects in the north with Prairie Sunset Trail.

There are two entrances, the East Entrance by Tyler street, where there is a designated parking lot to handle horse trailers, with watering stations for the horses. There is also a bicycle repair station, drinking fountain, and restrooms. The West Entrance is on Pawnee St and features a small kids’ playground, a picnic shelter, a drinking fountain, and restroom facilities. Dogs are allowed on a leash, and there are pet drinking bowls on both water fountains.

South Lakes Park

5300 S Meridian, 67217 /1524 W 55th St S, 67217| 51.12 acre

By the entrance on Meridian, you can access a regional sports complex with 15 multi-sport fields, 8 softball fields, and 1 football field. 

The parking lot closest to the fishing ponds and nature trails is on W 55th Street. There are nature trails by the Wichita South Lake and two ponds.

Wichita Wild Habitat Areas in Southeast Wichita 

Cessna Park (West)

5701 E Kincaid, 67218 | 14.37 acres

This park is formed by two triangular tracts. The East Park along Mt. Vernon street is used for sports, while the west park is where the wild area is. There are parking lots on both sides. The Gypsum Creek Bicycle Path crosses the park.

Cottonwood Park

1301 S Armour, 67207 | 21.0 acres

This park, just a few minutes north of Cessna Park, is also crossed by the Gypsum Creek Bicycle Path, and there are some benches along the way. There is a small designated area for 3-4 cars at the intersection of Armour Street and Bailey Street.

Eliana lives in Andover with her wife and their triplets. Originally from Argentina, she is happy to raise her kids experiencing different cultures from the places the family has lived in: Buenos Aires City, Maschwitz, Costa Rica, Arkansas, and ICT area since June 2019. So here she is, trying to keep it all together at home while working part-time as an IT Consultant, volunteering in her kid’s school, and cheering at recitals, races, and games. She also manages to steal time to do what she loves: running, riding her bike, building relationships, and writing about her adventures, feelings, and thoughts.