Hiking with your dog in KCMO

February 9, 2022

Dog-friendly Hiking Trails in Kansas City

Hiking has long been one of our favorite ways to exercise and socialize our own pets, as well as dogs we are working with for training! The Kansas City area is home to more than 100 miles of trails perfect for hiking with your four-legged furry friend. Read on to learn about some of our top tips and favorite spots for enjoying the outdoors with your pet.

Preparation is key!

If you haven’t hiked  with your dog before, we recommend checking with your veterinarian to make sure they are in good health and have the appropriate vaccinations before heading out. Heartworm and flea and tick preventatives are also a must!  Once given the green light, make sure to pack a bag with some essential items just for your pet:

  • Extra water and collapsible water bowl
  • First aid supplies (bandages, tweezers)
  • A small brush or comb (helpful for removing stickers or burrs from fur)
  • A few treats to offer to furry friends met along the way (with their owner’s permission) as well as your own pup  
  • Poop bags
  • Keep a rag or towel in the car for dirty paws

Check local trail or park regulations 

It’s always a good idea before heading out to know what local laws or ordinences petain to animals being allowed and whether they are required to be kept on or off-leash while hiking.  Although your dog may be very friendly, not every dog is.  Consider leaving him/her leashed; not only will this help you avoid fines, it is also a good idea in the event you run into other unknown dogs or any wildlife that may be present.  If you do elect to hike with your pup off-leash, we recommend keeping the leash easily accessible for attaching in the event of injury or encounter with other hikers.

Be weather aware

As any Midwesterner knows, severe weather is a given during the spring and summer months!  Because forecasts can change rapidly, we recommend checking the night before and again the day of your planned outing.  Consider postponing or leaving your pet at home if storms are in the forecast.  Make sure to check the trail maps and scope out your nearest shelter in the event a storm pops up unexpectedly.

  1. Hodge Park – Located in the Northland, this park has over 1000 acres with plenty of both wooded and paved trails.
  2. Shawnee Mission Park – Dogs are welcome and may be off leash in some areas.
  3. Wyandotte County Lake Park – Rrom easy to strenuous, this park offers hikes for all ability levels
  4. Hollis Renewal Center – Although located on private land used as a retreat center, this area is open to the public for hiking and has over 5 miles of natural surface trails.  Pets are welcome but must be leashed.  Call ahead if you want to be sure it’s open: 913-441-0451
  5. Cedar Niles Park – Forested area and streams provide a quite refuge that both you and your dog will love!