Team Blake’s Guide to the Best Hidden Parks in Kansas City
Whether you live in the thick of downtown Kansas City or the bustling neighborhoods that encompass the metro, sometimes it’s nice to get away to find some peace and quiet with nature. Kansas City and the surrounding area have quite a few parks that you can classify as some of KC’s best kept secret parks, when you need some time with mother nature. With that being said, Team Blake is happy to share our guide to the best hidden parks in Kansas City for the next time you need to become one with nature. Leave the “parks near me” googling to us!
Rooftop Park – Kansas City, MO
Located right in the middle of the Power & Light entertainment district of downtown Kansas City, you can find a peaceful escape at the top of Consentino’s and Onelife Fitness’ parking garage. This rooftop park consists of two grassy lawns featuring shade trees, a short walking path, and park benches. This park was erected in 2012, when artist Janet Zweig was commissioned to turn the grass-covered green roof into a greenspace hideaway from the concrete jungle below. Zweig outfitted part of the area with a see-through box car that functions as a stage for small-scale concerts. The rooftop park is accessible off of Main Street, between 12th Street and 13th Street, and is open from 8 a.m. until dusk.
Cave Spring Park – Kansas City, MO
Another beauty located in Kansas City is the Cave Spring Park, also known as William M. Klein Park. Acquired in 1980, this hidden gem is a National Historic Landmark and offers its visitors 4.5 miles of winding trails, picnic tables, historic ruins, and a waterfall. As you may have guessed from the park’s name, Cave Spring Park features a cave, but unfortunately hikers can no longer go inside of it. The park welcomes four-legged friends (as long as they are leashed) and is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year.
Parkville Nature Sanctuary – Parkville, MO
Serenity can be found just outside of Kansas City at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary right off Highway 9. You’ll have no problem finding the perfect picnic spot in 115 acres of natural outdoor area connected by nearly three miles of hiking trails. The sanctuary serves as both a wildlife preserve and educational site 365 days a year. This park is for humans only, as no pets are allowed. We suggest a picnic spot near English Landing Park where you can overlook the Missouri River.
Native Hooved Animal Enclosure in Fleming Park – Blue Springs, MO
Just 15 miles from Kansas City, you can get a taste of the outdoors with a side of buffalo at the Native Hooved Animal Enclosure located inside Fleming Park. While Fleming Park and Lake Jacomo both offer fantastic outdoor areas and activities including soccer fields, a fishing dock, campgrounds, pedal boats, and picnic shelters, there is nothing quite as riveting at the park’s Native Hooved Animal Enclosure. The 110-acre fenced enclosure provides a home to bison, elk, and white-tailed deer. While the enclosure is not on the national parks list, you can get your own national parks feeling while surveying the wildlife in Blue Spring, Missouri.
Hillsdale State Park – Richland, KS
Located roughly 30 minutes south from Olathe, Kansas, you can find one of the closest Kansas state parks near the Kansas City metro. Hillsdale State Park boasts an impressive expanse of land and water for fishers, hunters, and hikers alike. The state park features approximately 4,500 acres of water and 51 miles of shoreline for fishing, in addition to roughly 7,000 acres of open hunting area within the wildlife area and state park. If bird watching is your ideal weekend activity, Hillsdale State Park has been known to house bald eagles, shorebirds, finches, warblers, sparrows, and hawks in its wooded areas. Equestrian-lovers will be happy to know that the Saddle Ridge equestrian area has roughly 32 miles of marked trails available to horseback riders.
Tryst Falls Park – Excelsior Springs, MO
If you are searching for a peaceful outing with only the sound of water to lure you into relaxation, then the drive to Tryst Falls Park is well worth it. This natural park is home to Tryst Falls, one of the only natural waterfalls in the area. The park area also has a playground, shelter houses, and picnic tables to make lunch or dinner easier. Known as Clay County’s first park, Tryst Falls Park remains a quiet sanctuary with 19 acres of natural beauty including plenty of fall foliage to gaze in astoundment at.
Kaw Point Park – Kansas City, KS
A gorgeous city skyline view awaits you at the small Kaw Point Park right along the Missouri River. Known as one of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s stops in 1804, Kaw Point Park features the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail, an open air education pavilion with interpretive signs about the expedition. The park also features an outdoor amphitheater equipped for performing arts and special events.