Weston Bend State Park
West Ridge Trail

Ridge trail overlooking the Missouri

West Ridge Trail is a mixture of long views of the Missouri River and curved explorations along a heavily wooded valley. This is a pretty walk in the spring, and I would imagine it's incredible in the fall when the leaves are in full color.

From the intersection of I435 and Mo-45N (Tom Watson Pkwy) northwest of Kansas City, follow Mo-45N north and west for 14.2 miles to the Weston Bend park entrance road.
Turn left into the park, and follow the park road 1.1 miles to the turnoff for the Overlook.
Take a left onto the overlook turnoff, and go 0.15 miles to the parking lot.
Coordinates for the hike: 39.3882170,-94.8794310
Parking / Trailhead amenities
The parking lot is paved and smooth. Their are no restrooms or water available at the parking lot or at the trailhead.
There is a place for trail brochures at the trailhead, but when I visited it was empty.
Trail observations
The trail is paved for a short distance, then turns to dirt and runs along a bluff overlooking the Missouri. At the one mile mark the trail starts to drop down into a valley away from the river, and at about a mile and a half the trail joins with the paved bike path. You will be on the bike path for about 8/10's of a mile, a walk with a lot of short ascents and descents. At about 2.4 miles you will leave the bike path and start a gradual climb up a valley back to the parking lot.
The generally peaceful quiet of the blufftop trail is sometimes interrupted when a train runs along the trail at the base of the bluff - I didn't find this especially intrusive as it seemed a part of the river tableau.
The trail is wide enough for two people to walk side by side in most spots. It's in generally good condition with a single exception where the trail crosses a root and drops a couple feet via a very muddy incline.
Trail statistics
The trail is 2.66 miles long. The sum of all the uphill climbs is 164 feet.
Trail waypoints
0.00 miParkingParking lot
0.05 miTrailheadTrailhead
0.10 miBrochuresWest ridge trail and map box
0.14 miGo leftBranch - stay left
0.15 miGo leftBranch - stay left
0.40 miGo rightBranch - stay right
0.40 miWest Ridge trailFollow West Ridge Trail - blue blazes
0.86 miMissouri riverRidge trail overlooking the Missouri
1.03 miGo rightBranch - stay right
1.06 miGo rightBranch - stay right
1.10 miRough spotRough spot where trail crosses root
1.53 miBenchBench
1.53 miGo leftIntersection - go left
1.53 miLeft on bike pathJunction with bike path - go left
1.73 miOn bike pathHeading along the bike path
2.05 miBenchBench
2.33 miOverlook signAt sign, take a left towards the yellow bench
2.35 miBenchBench
2.36 miGo rightTake a right onto the Harpst Valley Trail
2.39 miValley ascentClimbing out of the valley
2.39 miWild treeHeading under a wild tree
2.66 miEnd of trailEnd of trail
Trail map - West Ridge Trail
Altitude chart - West Ridge Trail Brochures Missouri river Go left Bench Go right Valley ascent End of trail
Difficulty: Easy
Terrain : Hilly
Trail surface: Dirt
Trail surface: Paved
Type: Lollipop
Type: Loop
Type: Out-and-back
View: Open
View: Wooded
County: Platte County
State: Missouri
Country: United States of America
Missouri State Parks web site
Official PDF map of the park
Printable trail map in PDF format (20 Mb download)
Printable trail map in PNG format (4 Mb download)
Waypoints in CSV format
Waypoints in KML format
Instructions on using a trail description page
Instructions on using a trail map printout
Trails in the surrounding area
Area map for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska (1 additional trail)
Area map for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska (No additional trails)
Area map for Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (1 additional trail)
Area map for Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (No additional trails)