Are you dreaming of an escape but life just won’t let you get away?

Although your travel plans may be on hiatus and keeping you from venturing too far, it doesn’t mean you can’t venture out into nature.

In fact, they say Vitamin D is one of the best defenses to getting sick. And there’s no better way to get it than through the sun itself. So, lace up your shoes, and hit a trail for a change of pace and some great scenery to go along with it. We’ve identified several of the best hiking trails in the Kansas City metro area. Therefore, it can ll be done in a days time, and you never had to go too far from home!

Swope Park:

One of the largest urban parks in the country, Swope Park is a timeless Kansas City tradition located just 17 minutes southeast of Downtown KC. Limestone bluffs and bike-carved trails populate this 1,805-acre region—where you’ll find ambitious landscapes along both the Swope Park Mountain Bike Trail and Fox Hollow Trail.

Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center:

Old bridges, stone embankments and burbling streams populate the Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center, a wildlife getaway in Olathe. The Johnson County park features a nice mix of flat, straight hiking trails and ones with more elevated terrain. Depending on where you venture, you’ll see prairies, creeks and woods, all in the same peaceful, 116-acre area.

Cedar Lake Park:

Spend some time at Cedar Lake Park in Olathe to glimpse an area waterfall that’s the perfect subject for amateur and professional photographers alike.

Mill Creek Streamway Park:

Also check out Mill Creek Streamway Park, a popular, 17-mile stretch through Shawnee, Lenexa and ending in Olathe.

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens:

While parts of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens may be dedicated to the preservation of eight natural ecosystems, the five miles of paved and woodchip paths are an Overland Park favorite when it comes to hiking in the metro.

Fleming Park/Clermont Nature Trail/ Little Blue Trace Park:

Five hiking trails of varying length and design can be found in Fleming Park in Jackson County. Located in the center of the 7,809-acre land is Lake Jacomo, where water sports, fishing and more are common. But the hiking here is just as good. The trails are scattered along the lake’s edge, each revealing their own natural secrets, while the Clermont Nature Trail is the perfect accompaniment to a day at Missouri Town 1855. Or, swing by the Little Blue Trace Park, an oft-traveled route that follows the Little Blue River for 15 miles.

Parkville Nature Sanctuary/Old Kate Trail/ White Tail Trail/ Bluebrid Trail :

Wildlife is abundant at Parkville Nature Sanctuary, located less than 20 minutes north of Downtown KC. Three trails populate this popular hiking destination, each different in makeup and accessibility. Old Kate Trail, the one that receives the most foot traffic, features natural waterfalls that you’d be ashamed not to photograph.Meanwhile, the White Tail Trail gives hikers a bit more of a challenge with rocky ridges and steeper inclines. Then there’s the Bluebird Trail, the mildest of the three, which includes an ADA-accessible trail spur to accommodate a wider variety of hikers.

Christie Nordmeyer

Meet Christie Nordmeyer, a creative visionary with an unrelenting passion for travel. Christie’s journey in the world of content creation has been nothing short of remarkable. As an internationally published talent, she has left her indelible mark on the industry. She’s been at the helm of two magazines, graced the airwaves with her presence on two radio shows, curated captivating video compilations, directed countless photoshoots, and flooded social media with her inspired posts.

Yet, amidst her diverse creative endeavors, Christie discovered her true calling lies at the intersection of creativity and culture. This realization has become the cornerstone of her mission: to use her exceptional skill set to shine a spotlight on the remarkable spaces our world has to offer. Christie’s words and lens invite people to experience life in a profound and sensory way, deliberately crafted to inspire.

In her own words, “Life is too short to be spent sitting on the sidelines. It’s meant to be savored, adventured, and appreciated for all it gives back to us.” Christie is on a mission to help others see the extraordinary within the ordinary, and she considers it a job well done if she can play a small part in that revelation.

To further her mission, Christie launched Freestyle Adventures, a pioneering venture dedicated to assisting DMCs, DMOs, and other travel providers in showcasing remote regions, bucket-list-worthy excursions, and the hidden gems that adorn our planet. Her work offers a first-person glimpse into often overlooked areas, breaking through the noise to cast a brighter light on some of Earth’s most enchanting destinations.