Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hiking East Kansas - Clinton Lake George Latham Trail

Opportunities for hiking are everywhere - you just have to look for them. On a recent cross-country road trip from New England to New Mexico with my partner and our two dogs, we were looking for a place to get out and stretch our legs after crossing the state line into eastern Kansas. A quick Google search landed us on the Kansas Trails Council website where we found directions to the Clinton Lake George Latham Trail, located just west of Lawrence, home of the University of Kansas. (Go Jayhawks!)

Tee-pee setup near the George Latham Trailhead, Woodridge Park, KS
Man-made Clinton Lake is home Woodridge Park, where the George Latham Trail winds through forest and pastures on a 4.5-mile loop. It took about 20 minutes to reach the trailhead from the exit on I-70, and after the 2.5-hour hike we were able to enjoy a nice healthy meal in nearby Lawrence before getting back on the road.

Hiking the George Latham Trail (with Diego) near Lawrence, KS
The best part of the Clinton Lake George Latham Trail is that no-fee primitive camping is allowed. Next time we pass through Kansas we'll be prepared to save some money and enjoy a night under the stars.

Here are the quick stats for the Clinton Lake George Latham Trail:

Trailhead: From I-70, take KS-10 exit and go south U.S. 40 (W. 6th St.) and turn right (west). Go about 4.5 miles and turn left on Co. Rd. 1023. Go another 3.5 miles or so to reach N. 1250 Rd. and turn left. Go a mile to reach E. 350 Rd., which will take you half a mile to the Woodridge Park parking lot. Enter the park on foot (if the gate is closed). Start the trail at the trailhead on the north side of the open field.
Distance: 4.5-mile loop
Elevation Gain/Loss: Insignificant
Map: A map of the George Latham Trail is available from the Kansas Trails Council.
Hiking Time: About 2.5 hours, depending on your personal speed.
Best Times to Hike: This hike is great year-round.
Difficulty: Easy

View of Clinton Lake from the George Latham Trail in eastern Kansas
For more information on this hike or other hikes discussed in the blog HikeyHikey, feel free to leave a comment below. Check out my other blogs Man of Merit andMyFitLife2Day. Or contact me via my splash page at about.me/brian.schwarz.