If you want to discover Kansas City, Kansas, while getting some cardio, check out a KCK Urban Hike. You will meet a local guide in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and walk over three miles while hearing about the history of the area and the many changes that have taken place.
The urban hike lasts around three hours, and you will need to be in decent shape as the pace is moderately fast and there are some hills. However, the hill climb will be worth it as Kansas City, Kansas, offers a fantastic city skyline view of Kansas City, Missouri.
The tour starts at the Splitlog coffee shop, named after Mathias Splitlog, a wealthy mill owner who established the Kansas City, Kansas neighbourhood. You will find a mural of Mathias Splitlog on the side of a building next to the coffee shop. Originally the area had strawberry fields, and the Croatian immigrants renamed the area Strawberry hill. Kansas City, Kansas, still has a strong Croatian heritage that you can learn more about at the Strawberry Hill Museum and cultural center.
Continuing through Strawberry hill, the urban hike will take you to the Riverfront Heritage Trail, providing a view of the Missouri River. The trail spans Kansas and Missouri state lines, providing an opportunity for walking for bike riding if that is more your style. As you walk along the path, you will find artist sculptures depicting the local history. During the civil war time, Missouri was a slave state while Kansas was free. The river crossing was part of the underground railroad, and you will see a sculpture depicting a freedom ceremony, which was like a baptism ceremony. The trail provides a fascinating urban landscape sitting close to the natural beauty of the river.
After the river trail, the tour continues to Downtown Kansas City, Kansas, and you will have an opportunity to learn more about the various murals covering the downtown walls. For example, from the Wyandotte National Burying Ground, you will see a mural capturing Eliza "Lyda" Conley. Lyda was the first woman admitted to the Kansa Bar Association and most notably had a court case go all the way to the Supreme Court to protect the burial ground. Her case led the way so that the burial ground remained a protected area.
One of the most inspiring visits on the urban hike is the Police Athletic League (PAL) garden. The garden is where the youth of Kansas City, Kansas, learn how to grow their fruits and vegetables. In addition, there are some chickens held in a coop. The local youth get to try the produce they grow and provide a meaningful way to connect with their community. The garden offers a lovely green space amid the city, and it was so special to see how the leaders of the program were excited about teaching others about maintaining the garden.
Kansas City, Kansas, has a proud Hispanic community, and in Kansas City, Kansas, you will find over fifty taquerias and locally-owned restaurants. On the tour, you will notice some of the stops on the KCK taco trail. The Kansas City, Kansas visitor's bureau created a map with restaurants to check into, and the more places you go, the more prizes you can win. Awards include stickers, salsa, and a t-shirt.
I learned about the community on this hike and learned more about the history than I would have on my own. If the Urban Hike interests you, check out the available tours and times at https://urbanhikeskc.com/.
Ticket prices are $32 per person, or you can arrange a private hike starting at $250, with prices varying based on the number of people and length of the walk. Happy hiking and exploring Kansas City, Kansas!