Location: E 87th, East of HWY 71. Kansas City
Directions: Off 71, exit 87th street. Head east for about a mile. The trail is on the east bound lane of the road. There is a small shoulder on this side of the road. If you hit 435, you've gone to far. It's hard to see sometimes, but keep you eyes open and you'll find it.
Distance: 1.5 miles or more
Ages appropriate for: 3 and up but only for those that truly like to climb and get dirty. Any younger will need to go in the backpack.
Description: This trail isn't for an easy little jaunt through the woods. This one takes some climbing. With that said,leave the strollers at home and grab a good kids backpack for any younger kids.
The trail itself is kind of nestled a little way back from the road. It's only about 2 feet wide at it's best and there are times where you might lose it. The trail markings need some work for the inexperienced hiker which I am. However, going with the more experienced Hippie, it was no problem for him. I suck and he's awesome.
The trail could use a little more upkeep by cutting back some of the brush but we were able to get by just fine.
That's about the only bad things I can say about this trail. It's pretty freaking awesome. The trail runs part way by a stream which allows for plenty of opportunity to throw a lot of rocks at water, always a favorite kid past time.
There's a lot to see throughout the trail as well. It goes a little up and presents some pretty decent climbs for the kids that they will find challenging. One of our favorite parts is when the trail goes between two limestone bluffs. At the top, you will find a tree growing into the rock. Way freaking cool. There are several areas like this and the view from the top is worth the trip. You alternate between going up the heights and then heading back into the canopy and the deep shade. The trees and brush are pretty dense and the humidity can get up there on a warm day once you area in the canopy.
There are a few clearings where the kids and you can take a break and it offers a good chance to take a real good look at all the fauna around you.
There are several chances throughout the walk to take different paths and you could honestly spend a good 8 hours out there doing this. We did about 1.5 miles and it took us a little over 2 hours. At the end of it, everyone was exhausted but felt great. My 2 year old and my 3 year old had a great time and were massively worn out. I would say this is one of the better hiking trips we've taken and I would recommend it to the more adventurous.