If you brought your walking shoes, Topeka is the place to be! If you’re searching for a tranquil retreat among flowers and manicured gardens, or an adventurous hike through the wooded trails, you’ll find your path in Topeka. To pick up the pace, enjoy a jog or hop on your bike. Most of Topeka’s trails are friendly for all types of explorers as long as you share the trail.

 

TRAILS

Lake Shawnee Walking/Biking Trail. Lake Shawnee recently completed their walking/biking path that now completely encircles the entire lake. The trail is a little over 7 miles of wide concrete path that meanders around beautiful Lake Shawnee. There are markers on the path that denote each quarter mile.

Shunga Trail is a concrete bicycle/pedestrian path beginning at Crestview Park (near SW 27th and SW Fairlawn) and continues to the east near SE 10th & SE Branner. The trail is being constructed in phases and will eventually stretch across Topeka. Bicycle riders, skateboarders and in-line skaters are reminded that walkers have the right-of-way and are asked to ride under control at all times.

Brookfield Park is a concrete pedestrian path beginning at SW 23rd and SW Kingsrow and extends 0.3 miles.

Dornwood Nature Trail at SE 25th and SE Highland is a 2-mile woodland hiking trail that has evolved from prairie to hardwood forest. This is a popular field trip for school classes studying plants, soil or wildlife.

Landon Trail is a gravel trail being converted to concrete in sections. Southeast 17th to SE 45th Street have been completed. The trail is converted from abandoned railroad track right-of-way that runs from SE 17th to SE Sanneman Drive, extending 4.75+ miles.

Orville Rice Nature Trail winds along Shunga Creek from SW Gage Boulevard to Shunga Glen Park. The mowed grass trail is very popular for bird watching, as well as viewing aquatic wildlife. Wear your boots, this is really a nature trail!

Freedom Valley is a concrete pedestrian path beginning at SE 14th and SE Locust and extends 0.75 miles.

Soldier Creek Trail is located in North Topeka. This 1.8-mile concrete bicycle/pedestrian trail runs from NE Garfield Park to NE Lyman Road.

Gage Park Fitness Loop Trail. This newly-completed perimeter trail around Gage Park brings to 58 the number of miles of trails offered by Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.

 

NATURE AREAS

Clarion Woods is Topeka’s newest nature area at SW 37th and SW Fairlawn. It features a fishing pond and a half-mile trail through a red cedar forest. The site includes a barrier-free fishing dock.

Warren Nature Area at SW 25th and SW Gage (East of Felker Park) has approximately 3 miles of trails. A wetland area shows how nature cleans runoff water and keeps silt from entering large streams. This area is the top spot in the Topeka park system for viewing birds and insects. There are many offshoot trails available and additional walks ranging from 1 – 2 miles can be taken.

Iliff Commons is private land open for public use at NE 31st Street. The entrance to this area, both native prairie and woods, is a chipped driveway 50-feet east of the intersection on the south side of 31st Street.

 

GARDENS

Ted Ensley Gardens. The 37.5-acre garden area on the west side of scenic Lake Shawnee features a panoramic view of the lake and spectacular plantings in a beautiful and tranquil setting with meandering paths.

Features include a beautiful 60 ft. covered bridge over a rocky stream. Then you stroll on the sidewalk though a meditation garden, rock gardens, many annual and perennial beds, rose gardens and water gardens. The arboretum features 450 trees including 87 varieties, some rare to Kansas.

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