Go for a walk and enjoy nature!
There are many great hiking and nature trails in the Kansas City area. This website
provides information to help Kansas City area residents and visitors get started in casual hiking and bird-watching -- a healthful, inexpensive learning activity for people of all ages.
This website includes:
     • locations and descriptions of hiking trails within about 30 miles of Kansas City, Mo.
     • a list of birds in the KC area and trail sites where they may be seen

     • pictures and links for bird identification
     • references and links to resources for hiking and birding, such as how to select
       hiking shoes, how to choose binoculars, and types of bird feeders
     • benefits of nature hiking.
To obtain descriptions and locations of trail sites in a particular part of the Kansas City area, select a direction on the chart to the left under "Trail sites." Four or five trail sites with good birding opportunities are highlighted in each area, and links are provided to other trail sites.
Physical and mental benefits  [references]
Regular physical activity such as walking helps manage your weight, control your blood pressure, increase the level of “good “ cholesterol (HDL), lower stress, aid digestion, strengthen muscles, bones, and joints, improve sleep, and boost your overall sense of well-being.  This results in lowering the incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. Even small increases in physical activity, such as walking for about 30 minutes a day, can be beneficial.
There is also strong evidence that direct contact with nature leads to increased mental
health and psychological development in both children and adults. Benefits include improvements in the following areas:
     • observation and concentration
     • coordination, balance, and agility
     • resistance to stress
     • imagination and creativity
     • general health.
Page added 6/10/2011 (Latest Rev 7/31/2015 major new KC bird list)