The Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail is 0.75 miles one way, making 1.5 miles back to the starting point. Named for the legend stating that the trail's prints in its sandstone were caused by buffalo roaming the area along with Native Americans, the trail is rich in history while also offering hikers some of the most beautiful scenery that Kansas has to offer. The trail runs along Buffalo Creek, allowing hikers to enjoy the peaceful sounds of running water while viewing geological formations caused by the water, erosion, and rockslides, and other natural happenings.
The trail is one of several in Kanopolis State Park's combination of trails but is one of the most popular for both its historical roots and abundant wildlife. Along the way, you can see various native plants, trees, and algae, like sumac, red cedar, and lichens, and you might even spot some woodpeckers and small prairie animals. One of the biggest draws to the trail is its natural cave formations caused by sandstone erosion, one of which was used by Native Americans. Pick up a brochure at the Horsethief Canyon park office, which explains the numbered posts along the trail that point out interesting landscapes, wildlife, and other features.
Kanopolis State Park is the first in Kansas and features the Rockin' K Campground, known for being both horse- and dog-friendly and its primitive and full hook-up campsites. The trail is tucked away in the Horsethief Canyon area, offering hikers a secluded spot to get away in the great outdoors. Be sure to wear strong, gripping hiking shoes for this trail, as you can navigate through the caves and over rocky landscapes to get impressive views of the prairie and surrounding rock formations.
For doggie adventurists and their humans, the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail provides a lot of excitement and history on a short hike.