The Top 5 Fall Foliage Hikes in Clay
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The Top 5 Fall Foliage Hikes in Clay

Fall has arrived and with it the trees in Clay have started to change colors. From reds and browns, yellows and pale greens, and even a splash of purple here and there—a seasonal must in Clay is taking the time to step into nature and enjoy the forests of autumn.

There are a ton of hiking and walking options in Clay, but here’s a short list of five of some of the best tree-filled trails where you’re sure to see an array of fall colors!

And remember, fall is an ever-changing season, so to really see everything this time of the year has to offer, we suggest you visit all five during October and early November!

1. Happy Rock Park, Kansas City

1 mile loop - easy difficulty - paved

Perfect for hiking, biking, and trail running, Happy Rock Park Trail is a great place to find beautiful fall scenes. Dogs are allowed on the trails, so take your four-legged friends out for a stroll with you—just remember to keep them on a leash!

2. Maple Woods Nature Preserve, Gladstone

1 mile loop - moderate difficulty - unpaved

This trail is unpaved and does experience some fairly steep hills and elevation changes. The woods get so thick in places on this trail that you’ll forget you’re smack dab in the middle of a residential area.

3. Eagle’s View Trail, Smithville Lake

1.5 miles - easy difficulty - paved and unpaved

Add a lake view to your scenic fall walk and you’ve got one pretty picture! Eagle’s View Trail loops alongside Smithville Lake, cutting through some of the area’s wooded areas before circling back. Though fall may still be a little too early for them, make sure to keep an eye out for bald eagles while you’re here—they like perching in trees along the waterline.

4. Stocksdale Park, Liberty

2.8 mile loop - moderate difficulty - unpaved

This trail is pretty well hidden within Stocksdale Park! It’s a beautiful and immersive hike, but it’s important to remember that the trail is one very long loop. A quick tip for hikers: there are few markers on this trail, so sometimes it’s a bit tough to navigate, but it’s well worth the challenge! If you have GPS on your phone, consider keeping your battery charged up enough to

5. Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, Libert

Multiple trails - moderate difficulty - paved and unpaved

The nature sanctuary trails are perfect for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike! Along with the stunning fall foliage, you’ll see native wildflowers, and grasslands. There are numerous trails at the sanctuary, so try to grab one of the park’s brochures before you head out so you have a map of their trail system on hand!

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