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The little book with BIG resources!

A Great Spot for a Day Hike in Kansas City

One of our favorite weekend activities is to explore the various hiking trails around Kansas City. This last week we went back out to Cave Springs in Raytown.  This is one of our favorite places to hike. It has a lot of “attractions” that make it fun for the kids and allows for multiple destinations. That is one of the more difficult parts about hiking in Missouri.  It seems like there are no destinations to the hikes. Missouri day hiking doesn’t offer the breathless views at the summit. The following are our favorite destinations on this hike.

The Cave

This is always our first stop when we come because when you go to a park named Cave Springs it just seems right that the cave is your first stop. While the cave is not much to look at and could probably only fit five adults, it is the perfect cave to spark intrigue and imagination in kids. It allows them to test their courage by entering the cave with no real threat that comes with more traditional spelunking. My oldest daughter gets a little bit braver with each visit, making it the perfect Goldilocks challenge.

The Cascades

I am not totally sure what the true definition of a cascade is or if this would qualify. The name and the pictures on the internet make one think they are going to witness a real piece of grandeur. However, I do think this “waterfall” destination is dependent on the weather. We have seen the stream and fall at several different levels. Don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful landscape and makes for great pictures in the morning. It is similar to the cave in that in the mind of a child it is just big enough. It offers those perfect challenges that nature is so great at providing. The challenge being to walk up the stream on top of rocks so that your mom can get a picture. The fun and imagination keeps building with the next destination.

The Chimneys

While this last stop is not one made by nature but rather man, it is no less intriguing. As you walk up the trail you start see chimneys in the woods of to the sides of the trail until you come to a clearing that is full of old brick chimneys, the houses long gone. If your little explorer’s imagination isn’t sparked to life by the ruins am not sure what it would take. We read the sign to our daughters and they decided to memorize that, so they haven’t come up with crazy stories to explain the strange chimneys. This is where we usually do snack. You cannot take little people on a hike and not pack some snacks, it would be mutiny for sure.

Bonus

There is a Scout Camp with a tree house right before the above-mentioned cave, but we have never gone to play on it. Or at least that is what it looks like from the trail. This could also be a highlight destination along the hike. But like I said I don’t know much about it as we have never ventured over to it.

The other bonus that is really fun about this hike is “Raytown Rocks”.  These are painted rocks that are hidden along the trail. If you find one you are supposed to carry it with you and re-hide as you hike.  Or at least that is what we do. The kids love this because it is like a treasure hunt.  They get to try and find a good hiding spot before we leave. We always go and check the spot when we come back to see if the rock is still there. This is a lot of fun for the kids!

This is a great place if you are new to hiking because it is close to town, it is one of the cleanest trails in the metro that we have been on, and it is a series of loops (so if you walk long enough you will always end up back at your car!) Seasoned hikers will also find this to be a fun hike because the trails loop and cross enough that you could put together a substantial hike and not have seen the same scenery over and over. Getting kids outside and on trails is a must in my book, the fresh air does amazing things to their personality and they get so many opportunities to test their courage and strengthens their decision-making skills for the rest of their lives. What are your favorite trails or hacks for taking small children out into nature?

From iFamily to Yours,