Kansas map

State Coordinator
Brian Anderson
600 Canyon View Drive
Lansing, Kansas 66043
Phone number 913-705-0373

General Overview of Trail

The American Discovery Trail through Kansas is 570 miles long and begins in Johnson County on its eastern border by crossing the state line just west of the Watts Mill area on  the Indian Creek Bike Trail. While on the ADT in Kansas you will walk in the footsteps of the pioneers, the Great Plains Indian Tribes and many a western hero or bandit. You will see the unique geological formations of Kansas, follow the rivers, view the gorgeous Flint Hills (via the Flint Hills Nature Trail between Ottawa and Council Grove) and Smoky Hills, and watch birds at the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Refuge. The majority of the route through the Sunflower State is on paved or gravel back roads. About 28 miles of the route in Johnson County is on paved shared use  trails.

As you venture westward the distance between towns increases and the sources of clean water become more and more rare. There are many streams and rivers in the central section, however, purification is a necessity. Further west water is less plentiful and the area can be very dry at times. Weather can be fairly unpredictable in the state and can become severe very quickly. Remember that you are in “tornado alley” (during spring and summer) and that heat indices can reach 110+ degrees F (43C). Winter blizzards, especially in western Kansas, can create whiteouts with wind chills of -50 degrees F (-45C) or lower.

Detailed Trail Description
Total length of the trail in Kansas is 570 miles, consisting of eight segments, mostly on roads or road shoulders.
Leawood (MO line) to Lawrence — 52 miles
Lawrence to Herington — 127 miles
Herington to McPherson — 58 miles
McPherson to Great Bend — 75 miles
Great Bend to Kinsley — 56 miles
Kinsley to Dodge City — 53 miles
Dodge City to Garden City — 64 miles
Garden City to Coolidge (CO line) — 78 miles

For more details on the route, click here.

The most up-to-date, detailed trail directions are published in the ADT Data Books.

Affiliated Trails


  • Shawnee Mission Park
  • Pomona State Park

Points of Interest

  • Flint Hills
  • Smoky Hills
  • Madonna of the Trail
  • Cottonwood River
  • Great Plains
  • Maxwell Game Refuge
  • Arkansas River
  • Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area
  • Santa Fe Trail Center Museum and Cultural Center
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site
  • Corporate Woods
  • Dodge City
  • Old Kaw Mission and Museum
  • Coronado-Quivira Museum
  • Pawnee Rock Sate Monument


Adjoining Trail States:  Missouri Colorado