Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail In Kansas

Here is everything you need to know about the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Kansas
  • Length: 30 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail holds a significant place in the history of the United States, particularly in relation to the westward expansion and the establishment of military outposts. The trail, located in Kansas, stretches approximately 15 miles from Fort Leavenworth to the Missouri River, serving as a vital transportation route during the 19th century.

The trail’s origins can be traced back to the early 1800s when Fort Leavenworth was established as a strategic military post by the United States Army. The fort played a crucial role in protecting the western frontier and served as a starting point for various expeditions and military campaigns. As the need for efficient transportation grew, the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail was developed to connect the fort with the Missouri River, providing a direct route for supplies, troops, and settlers.

During the mid-1800s, the trail witnessed a significant influx of pioneers and settlers heading westward in search of new opportunities. It became an essential part of the Oregon and California Trails, which were major routes for emigrants traveling to the western territories. The Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail served as a gateway to the vast expanse of the American West, offering a link between the established military outpost and the Missouri River, a crucial waterway for further westward travel.

Over time, the trail’s importance diminished with the advent of railroads and improved transportation infrastructure. However, its historical significance remains intact, as it represents a tangible connection to the westward expansion and the role of military outposts in shaping the nation. Today, the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail stands as a reminder of the challenges and opportunities faced by those who ventured westward in pursuit of a better future.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Fort Leavenworth Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail, located within the Fort Leavenworth military base. It provides access to the trail for military personnel and their families.

2. Riverfront Park Trailhead: Located in Leavenworth, Kansas, this trailhead provides public access to the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail. It is situated near the Missouri River and offers parking facilities.

3. Eisenhower VA Medical Center Trailhead: Situated near the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, this trailhead provides access to the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail for visitors and patients of the medical center.

4. Riverfront Community Center Trailhead: Located in Leavenworth, this trailhead is situated near the Riverfront Community Center. It offers parking facilities and access to the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail for the local community.

5. Gateway Park Trailhead: Situated in Kansas City, Kansas, this trailhead marks the end point of the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail. It provides parking facilities and access to Gateway Park, which offers recreational amenities and beautiful views of the Kansas River.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Leavenworth Trolley: A charming trolley service offering guided tours and transportation around Leavenworth.
2. Uber: On-demand ridesharing service providing convenient transportation options.
3. Lyft: Another popular ridesharing service offering reliable transportation solutions.
4. Yellow Cab: Traditional taxi service available for quick and convenient transportation.
5. Leavenworth Shuttle: Shuttle service catering to the transportation needs of the local community and visitors.
6. Fort Leavenworth Shuttle: Shuttle service specifically serving the transportation needs of Fort Leavenworth personnel and visitors.
7. Leavenworth County Transportation: Public transportation service offering bus routes throughout Leavenworth County.
8. Kansas City International Airport: Nearby airport providing domestic and international flights for long-distance travel.


The amenities available at the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas available for trail users to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers camping sites for those who wish to stay overnight. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Water Stations: There are water stations along the trail where visitors can refill their water bottles or hydration packs.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead, there may be additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and signage to guide visitors.

7. Bike Repair Stations: Some sections of the trail may have bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps for cyclists to use in case of any mechanical issues.

8. Scenic Overlooks: The trail may have scenic overlooks or viewpoints where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

9. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be interpretive signs providing information about the history, flora, and fauna of the area.

10. Dog-Friendly: The trail may allow dogs on leashes, providing a pet-friendly environment for visitors.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the trail management or official website for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Fairfield Inn & Suites Leavenworth – Comfortable lodging option near Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail.
2. Hampton Inn Leavenworth – Convenient hotel with amenities close to the trail.
3. Candlewood Suites Leavenworth – Extended stay hotel offering comfortable accommodations.
4. Holiday Inn Express Leavenworth – Modern hotel providing a range of amenities for guests.
5. Americas Best Value Inn – Affordable lodging option near the trail.
6. Comfort Inn Leavenworth – Cozy hotel with a variety of amenities for a comfortable stay.
7. Leavenworth RV Campground – Campground offering RV and tent sites for outdoor enthusiasts.
8. Subway – Quick and convenient food service option near the trail.
9. McDonald’s – Popular fast-food chain serving burgers, fries, and more.
10. Casey’s General Store – Convenience store offering a variety of food and snacks.
11. Taco Bell – Fast-food restaurant serving Mexican-inspired cuisine.
12. Pizza Hut – Well-known pizza chain offering delivery and takeout options.
13. Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services – Local emergency medical services available in case of emergencies.
14. Leavenworth Police Department – Local law enforcement agency providing safety and security in the area.
15. Leavenworth Fire Department – Fire and rescue services available for emergencies.

Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail Difficulty Notes

The Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and bikers. The trail spans approximately 15 miles and features a mix of paved and unpaved sections, making it suitable for various skill levels. The terrain includes gentle slopes, occasional rocky patches, and some narrow sections, providing a moderate challenge for outdoor enthusiasts. While the trail does not have significant elevation changes, it offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape, including the Missouri River and the historic Fort Leavenworth. Overall, the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail provides an enjoyable and moderately challenging outdoor experience for individuals seeking a scenic adventure.

Features And Attractions

1. Fort Leavenworth: The starting point of the trail, Fort Leavenworth is a historic military installation with several notable buildings and landmarks, including the Buffalo Soldier Monument and the Frontier Army Museum.

2. Missouri River: The trail follows the Missouri River for a portion of its route, offering scenic views of the river and its surrounding landscape.

3. Weston Bend State Park: Located along the trail, Weston Bend State Park is known for its beautiful views of the Missouri River Valley. The park features hiking trails, picnic areas, and a scenic overlook.

4. Lewis and Clark Historic Park at Kaw Point: This park marks the point where the Kansas River meets the Missouri River, and it is a significant historical site associated with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Visitors can learn about the expedition’s journey and enjoy panoramic views of the rivers.

5. Wyandotte County Lake Park: Situated near the trail, Wyandotte County Lake Park offers a picturesque lake surrounded by rolling hills and wooded areas. The park provides opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicking.

6. Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site: This historic site preserves the remains of a 19th-century mission established by the Shawnee tribe and the Methodist Episcopal Church. Visitors can explore the mission buildings and learn about the history of the Shawnee people.

7. Kaw Point Park: Located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, Kaw Point Park offers stunning views of the rivers and the Kansas City skyline. The park features walking trails, picnic areas, and interpretive signage about the area’s history.

8. Kansas City Riverfront Heritage Trail: As the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail approaches Kansas City, it connects with the Kansas City Riverfront Heritage Trail. This trail provides access to various historical sites, including the Arabia Steamboat Museum and the City Market.

9. National World War I Museum and Memorial: Situated near the trail in Kansas City, the National World War I Museum and Memorial is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It offers exhibits, artifacts, and a tower with panoramic views of the city.

10. Union Station: Another notable landmark in Kansas City, Union Station is a historic train station that now serves as a cultural center. It features beautiful architecture, exhibits, restaurants, and shops.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail. There may be additional points of interest and attractions along the trail that are worth exploring.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles and pedestrians should yield to horses on the trail.
– Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
– No camping or overnight stays on the trail.
– No hunting or fishing on the trail.
– No littering; please carry out any trash.
– No off-trail activities or unauthorized trail modifications.
– No motorized or electric-powered bicycles or scooters.
– No smoking or open fires on the trail.
– No alcohol or illegal substances allowed.
– No firearms or weapons allowed on the trail.
– Trail hours are from sunrise to sunset.
– Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
– Follow all posted signs and regulations.
– Use caution and be aware of your surroundings.
– Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto restricted areas.
– Be considerate of other trail users and maintain a safe distance.
– Report any trail maintenance issues or concerns to the appropriate authorities.

Seasonal Information

The Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail is a popular outdoor destination located in Kansas, offering visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area. When it comes to the best times of the year to visit, it largely depends on personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. However, the trail is particularly enchanting during the spring and fall seasons.

In the spring, the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail comes alive with vibrant colors as wildflowers bloom and the trees regain their lush green foliage. The weather during this time is generally mild, making it perfect for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the trail. The trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including the Missouri River, which adds to the overall charm of the experience.

Similarly, the fall season is another fantastic time to visit the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail. As the leaves change colors and the air becomes crisp, the trail transforms into a picturesque wonderland. The autumn foliage creates a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities, and the cooler temperatures make it ideal for hiking or biking longer distances. Fall also brings a sense of tranquility to the trail, as it is less crowded compared to the summer months.

It is important to note that the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions in place. During the winter months, the trail may be closed or have limited access due to inclement weather conditions, such as snow or ice. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the trail management before planning a visit during this time. Additionally, some sections of the trail may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs during certain periods of the year. Staying updated with any closures or restrictions will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience when visiting the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail.


1. Paved Surface: The trail is fully paved, providing a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
2. Wide Pathways: The trail features wide pathways, allowing ample space for wheelchair maneuverability.
3. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrance, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located along the trail, providing necessary facilities for all visitors.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: The trail offers rest areas with benches at regular intervals, allowing wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to be wheelchair accessible, providing inclusive spaces for outdoor dining.
7. Signage: Clear and visible signage is present along the trail, including accessible formats, to assist individuals with disabilities in navigating the area.
8. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails are strategically placed along the trail to ensure safety and stability for wheelchair users.
9. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps or level access points for wheelchair entry.
10. Braille Information: Some trail information boards may include Braille descriptions, enhancing accessibility for individuals with visual impairments.
11. Audio Guides: Audio guides may be available, providing audio descriptions of the trail and its features for individuals with visual impairments.
12. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are installed along the trail, allowing individuals with disabilities to stay hydrated.
13. Assistance Animals: The trail welcomes assistance animals, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
14. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, to assist individuals with visual impairments.
15. Accessible Trail Events: The trail may organize inclusive events, such as wheelchair-friendly races or guided tours, promoting accessibility and participation for all.

Safety Information

When visiting the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off into unknown areas. Straying from the designated path can lead to getting lost or encountering hazardous conditions.

2. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing and footwear. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions and bring extra clothing in case of emergencies.

3. Carry water and snacks: Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate amount of water with you. Additionally, pack some energy-boosting snacks to keep yourself fueled during the hike.

4. Be aware of wildlife: The trail may be home to various wildlife species. Respect their space and observe them from a safe distance. Do not feed or approach any animals you encounter.

5. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen before heading out. Additionally, use insect repellent to prevent bug bites, especially during warmer months.

6. Inform someone about your plans: Before starting your hike, let someone know about your plans, including the trail you’ll be on and your estimated return time. This way, if something goes wrong, help can be alerted.

7. Carry a map and compass: It’s always a good idea to have a map and compass with you, even if you’re familiar with the trail. These tools can help you navigate in case you get lost or disoriented.

8. Stay alert and be cautious: Pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious of any potential hazards such as uneven terrain, slippery surfaces, or falling branches. Watch your step and take your time when navigating difficult sections.

9. Respect trail etiquette: Be considerate of other trail users. Yield to faster hikers or bikers, keep noise levels to a minimum, and leave no trace by properly disposing of any trash or waste.

10. Check weather conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid hiking during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms or high winds, as they can pose significant risks.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying outdoor activities. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail is a significant conservation area that plays a crucial role in preserving the natural environment and biodiversity of the region. This trail is recognized for its conservation status, as it is designated as a protected area by local authorities. The conservation efforts implemented here aim to safeguard the unique ecosystems and wildlife habitats found along the trail.

The conservation status of the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail ensures the preservation of various plant and animal species that call this area home. The trail provides a safe haven for numerous native species, including rare and endangered ones. By protecting their habitats, the trail contributes to the overall conservation of biodiversity in the region.

Conservation measures on the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail include the implementation of strict regulations to prevent habitat destruction and disturbance. These regulations prohibit activities such as hunting, logging, and the introduction of invasive species. Additionally, the trail is regularly monitored and managed to ensure the preservation of its natural features and ecological balance.

Efforts are also made to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of conservation and the need to respect the trail’s protected status. Educational programs and interpretive signage are in place to inform hikers and nature enthusiasts about the fragile ecosystems they are exploring and the actions they can take to minimize their impact.

Overall, the conservation status of the Fort Leavenworth-Gateway Trail highlights its significance as a protected area, ensuring the long-term preservation of its unique natural resources and contributing to the conservation of biodiversity in the region.

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