My friend and I recently spent a weekend exploring Kansas City and of course hiking was on the to-do list. About 30 minutes north of Kansas City is Weston Bend State Park. The park contains several hiking trails and a campground with modern facilities. We first stopped at the historic tobacco barn that reminds visitors of the once thriving agricultural business in this area.
Next, we headed toward the overlook parking lot. A short, paved trail leads up to a expansive view of the graceful Missouri River.
From here, we walked back down to the parking lot and to the left of the overlook trail is the trail head for the Harpst Trail, blazed in yellow. The total length of this trail is .7 miles, however after a short hike through the woods, it meets up with the paved Bicycle Trail. We took this trail to the right as it followed along the hills and gullies of Harpst Valley. The leaves had already changed into vibrant golds and oranges and the trees were dropping their leaves quickly.
The paved Bicycle Trail meets up with the West Ridge Trail, blazed in blue. We took a right and continued on the West Ridge Trail. The hike leads slowly upward and once you reach the top of the ridge, you are rewarded with a spectacular view of the Missouri River. From on top of the ridge, it feels like you can see forever.
Finally, the trail ends up at the paved trail to the overlook. I really liked hiking the trails in this direction because on the return trip you have breathtaking views almost the entire way.
The last trail we hiked was the Bear Creek Trail. To access this trail, park at the parking lot at the bottom of the hill and cross the railroad tracks. The trail is .2 miles one way. This short trail leads to an up close view of the Missouri River.
All in all, Weston Bend State Park offers peaceful hiking with exceptional views. If you are visiting Kansas City, this is a park not to be missed.
The trail map above was obtained from the Missouri State Park website. Be sure to check their website for more information!
If you are looking for free things to do around Kansas City, be sure to check out the following sites!
Boulevard Brewery Tour – be sure to get here early as tours sell out quickly!
Federal Reserve Bank – a self-guided tour and be sure to grab your free bag of shredded money on your way out!
World War I Monument – while the exhibits are not free, be sure to check out the monument and the park grounds. A great view of the Kansas City skyline can be found from on top of the memorial.
Harley Davidson Plant Tour – a great, informational tour!
If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below this post!