I absolutely love a rugged and remote trail. To me, there are few more enjoyable outdoor activities than wandering along a scenic trail – whether it’s in the mountains, the desert, or along a gorgeous coastline.
Still, as I’ve explored cities around the U.S., I’ve discovered another love as well: urban trails. Hop on a trail in a city like San Francisco, Boston, or Austin, and rather than being in the middle of nowhere, you’re suddenly in the center of it all. San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Boston’s historic Bunker Hill site, and the Austin’s lush Barton Springs are all accessible via urban trails.
I was reminded of my love of urban trails on my recent trip to Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas. While working on a writing assignment on the 15-mile Riverfront Heritage Trail, I took in significant sites like the Lewis & Clark Expedition’s 1804 stopping point at the Missouri/Kansas river confluence; the Freedom Trail Memorial located not far from a key station along the Underground Railroad that helped to get escaped slaves to freedom; and the site of the first permanent railroad bridge across the Missouri River.
I also sampled authentic tacos, saw some amazing architecture, and watched dogs frolic in a bona fide dog bar. Not all of the attractions were located directly on the trail, but the Riverfront Heritage Trail served as my conduit to Kansas City history and culture.
I had some guidance along the way from the wonderful Urban Hikes KC, which offered complimentary coffee tours at the Women In Travel Summit conference I was attending. I also joined Urban Hikes KC’s River Market/West Bottoms/Columbus Park hike, which took in several key sections of the Riverfront Heritage Trail. I highly recommend the guided hikes! They’re affordable, fun, and super informative.
Here are some of my favorite stops along the Riverfront Heritage Trail.Read More