The Great Outdoors


Please remember dog outing etiquette. If you need a refresher - click HERE.

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

8909 W. 179th St. (just west of Antioch)
Overland Park, KS 66013


The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens was founded to keep the city at the forefront of environmental and ecological issues. A leader of environmentally sound community development, the Arboretum is an educational, recreational and cultural resource for the Kansas City region.

The Arboretum is located on 300 ecologically diverse acres in southern Johnson County. Eight different ecosystems have been identified on the site, including rare plant species. Hiking trails wind their way through the Arboretum. About 85 percent of the property is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems. The remaining portion includes traditional botanical gardens, the Environmental Education Visitors Center (EEVC) and maintenance facilities.

Nearly six miles of paved and wood chip hiking trails wind their way through the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and across two 75-foot bridges that span Wolf Creek. Trails become more challenging along the limestone bluffs, which rise high above its southern banks. Our new rocky ridge trail takes you to the prairie and through a cedar forest and hickory grove.

A detailed trail map is available for download (.pdf file), or it can be picked up at the Environmental Education Visitors Center.

Dogs on lead are welcome on the asphalt, mulch and dirt trails but NOT permitted on the concrete pathways. Poo must be picked up and disposed of in trash cans. Baggies are available at some trailheads.

Please check the Web sites ahead of time to verify if the information provided here is still correct,

Prairie Oak Nature Center

14701 Mission Road
Leawood, KS 66224


Admittance to the park is free. There is a two-mile paved walking trail where dogs are welcome. The trail offers an opportunity to view different habitats.

The park also has a Nature Center that offer environmental education programs for all ages in addition to scheduled programs.
Please check the Web sites ahead of time to verify if the information provided here is still correct,

Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Urban Conservation Campus
4750 Troost Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

The Discovery Center is owned and operated by the Missouri Department of Convservation, so no fees are charged at the center. It is a unique, hand-on urban conversation education center in the heart of Kansas City, just minutes on foot from the Country Club Plaza in Kauffman Legacy Park. It offers six different workshops that let people experience wild foods, native plant gardening, stream life, outdoor skills and life science.

Dogs on lead are welcome to walk the Wild Side Walk through the Discovery Center “Grow Native!” Gardens, operated in cooperation with Powell Gardens.

Please check the Web sites ahead of time to verify if the information provided here is still correct,

Cave Spring Historic & Nature Center

8701 E. Gregory Blvd.
Kansas City, MO
816-358-CAVE (2283)


ave Spring is a 36-acre historic site and nature park located in Southeast Kansas City in Jackson County. It is on the register of Historic Landmarks as it was a stopover on the Santa Fe Trail.

The area includes a nature center with changing exhibits, picnic area, hiking trails, wildlife pond habitat, butterfly garden, and small cave. The trails are three trails open daily, year around from 9am to sunset.Trail maps are available on the Web site.

Well-behaved dogs on lead are welcome on the trails. Please pick up the poo and take it out to the nearest trashcan.
Please check the Web sites ahead of time to verify if the information provided here is still correct,

Monkey Mountain Conservation Area

Trail Map

E. Old US Hwy 40,
Grain Valley, MO 64029


Monkey Mountain is 855 acres and used as a nature reserve with a wide variety of cover and terrain. It is currently a conservation project designed to increase wildlife habitat and practice soil revitalization. It is popular with hikers as well as horseback riders.

There is a hiking loop called Mar-Chark-Ita-Toon-Hah Nature Trail. It is 3.5 miles long. The parking area for it is off of Old US Highway 40.

There is also the Monkey Mountain Horse Trail that is 3.0 mile loop. The trailhead is located off of R.D. Mize Road.
Please check the Web sites ahead of time to verify if the information provided here is still correct,
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