Making new destination discoveries doesn’t mean that you have to travel to another part of the world. You can make new discoveries close to home.
Since I’m a Fitbit fanatic who’s also trying to get in more steps, I wanted to find a new place to take a Sunday hike. I googled “best hikes in Kansas City” and found a link to the top eight hiking trails on Yelp.
#1 on that list was the Parkville Nature Sanctuary with five hiking trails, and it is located in Parkville, Missouri, only six miles from my home. I’d never heard of it before.
I convinced Mr. Jones that we needed to check it out, and off we went.
It turns out that much of the land that is now the Parkville Nature Sanctuary was once the Park College Farm where students did farm work to offset the cost of their education. They milked cows, tended to bee hives, maintained an orchard, and grew wheat and vegetables. The food harvested was served to Park College students. There was a mule named Old Kate that delivered water to the campus buildings by pulling a wheeled water-barrel up and down the campus hills. We decided to hike on the Old Kate Trail that is a .9 mile loop that passes through forests, a waterfall and a meadow. The trail passes over a streamside boardwalk. It is a moderate hike with some hills, but definitely gives the feeling of getting close to nature in some spots.
The other hiking trails at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary include:
White-tail Trail, a 1.5 mile trek up an old road and rocky switchback trails through a hickory forest. Bluebird Trail, a .3 mile flat trail that winds along White Alloe Creek. Butterfly Pass, provides a .1 mile shortcut from the west side to the east side of Old Kate Trail Paw Paw Path, a .2 mile path along White Alloe Creek that connects the Nature Sanctuary to the east side of the Park University Campus.
The Parkville Nature Sanctuary was founded in 1989 with a gift of 46 acres of land donated to the City of Parkville by the original Riss Lake Development Company. In the mid-nineties, the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased 69 acres of adjoining woodland which became the White Alloe Creek Conservation Area.
Located at Highway 9 and 12th Street, the Parkville Nature Sanctuary is open 365 days a year from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.
What local destination discovery have you uncovered lately in your home area? Please share in comments below.
Other Kansas City discoveries to check out:
If you like hikes, you might want to check out our “Let’s Take a Hike” board on Pinterest.
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