International Forest of Friendship Trail In Kansas

Here is everything you need to know about the International Forest of Friendship Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Kansas
  • Length: 0.6 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: The International Forest of Friendship Trail is maintained and managed by the International Forest of Friendship Committee.
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The International Forest of Friendship Trail holds a significant place in the history of international relations and friendship. Established in 1976, the trail is located in Atchison, Kansas, and serves as a symbol of unity and peace among nations. The idea for the trail was conceived by Joyce Caffrey, a renowned pilot and aviation enthusiast, who wanted to create a living memorial to honor the achievements of women in aviation.

The trail was designed to showcase the diversity and interconnectedness of the world by planting trees representing different countries. Each tree was dedicated to a notable woman from that country who had made significant contributions to aviation or space exploration. The International Forest of Friendship Trail quickly gained recognition and support from various countries, leading to the planting of trees from all corners of the globe.

Over the years, the trail has grown to include more than 150 trees, each representing a unique story of courage, determination, and achievement. The trees stand as a testament to the power of friendship and collaboration, transcending borders and cultural differences. The International Forest of Friendship Trail has become a cherished landmark, attracting visitors from around the world who come to pay homage to the remarkable women who have left an indelible mark on the field of aviation.

Today, the trail continues to serve as a symbol of international goodwill and understanding. It stands as a reminder that despite our differences, we are all connected and can achieve great things when we work together. The International Forest of Friendship Trail is a living tribute to the pioneers of aviation and a testament to the enduring power of friendship across borders.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Forest of Friendship Trailhead – Located at the entrance of the International Forest of Friendship in Atchison, Kansas, this is the main access point for the trail.

2. Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum – Situated near the trail, this museum marks the birthplace of Amelia Earhart and serves as a significant access point.

3. Atchison Riverfront Park – This park is located along the Missouri River and provides access to the trail, offering beautiful views and recreational opportunities.

4. Lewis and Clark State Park – Situated near the trail, this state park offers access to the International Forest of Friendship Trail, as well as camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

5. Benedictine College – Located in Atchison, Kansas, this college is near the trail and serves as an access point for students and visitors.

6. Warnock Lake Park – Situated near the trail, this park offers access to the International Forest of Friendship Trail, as well as fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.

7. Atchison County Lake – Located near the trail, this lake provides access to the trail and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and picnicking.

8. Atchison County Park – Situated near the trail, this park offers access to the International Forest of Friendship Trail, as well as camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

9. Atchison County Fairgrounds – Located near the trail, the fairgrounds serve as an access point and host various events throughout the year.

10. Atchison County Historical Society Museum – Situated near the trail, this museum provides access to the International Forest of Friendship Trail and offers insights into the local history and culture.

Please note that the International Forest of Friendship Trail may have additional access points or trailheads that are not listed here. It is always recommended to consult a local trail map or contact the trail authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Taxi – Traditional taxi service providing transportation.
4. Bus – Public transportation service with fixed routes and schedules.
5. Rental Car – Car rental service for self-driven transportation.
6. Bike Share – Shared bicycles available for short-term use.
7. Shuttle Service – Scheduled transportation service between specific locations.
8. Limousine Service – Luxury transportation service with professional chauffeurs.
9. Airport Transfer – Transportation service to and from the airport.
10. Train – Rail transportation service with designated stops and routes.


The International Forest of Friendship Trail offers the following amenities:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There is parking available for visitors’ vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail provides camping sites for those who wish to stay overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas where visitors can enjoy their meals and relax.

5. Hiking Trails: The trail offers various hiking trails for visitors to explore and enjoy nature.

6. Interpretive Signs: There are informative signs along the trail that provide details about the forest and its history.

7. Benches: There are benches placed along the trail for visitors to rest and take in the surroundings.

8. Wildlife Viewing: The forest is home to various wildlife species, providing opportunities for wildlife viewing.

9. Educational Programs: The International Forest of Friendship Trail offers educational programs and guided tours for visitors.

10. Accessibility: The trail is designed to be accessible for people with disabilities, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors.

Please note that amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check with the official website or contact the International Forest of Friendship Trail directly for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Forest City Inn – A cozy inn located near the International Forest of Friendship Trail.
– Super 8 by Wyndham – Convenient hotel offering comfortable accommodations close to the trail.
– Country Inn & Suites by Radisson – A welcoming hotel with modern amenities, perfect for a stay near the trail.

2. Food Services:
– Pizza Hut – Popular pizza chain offering a variety of pizzas and other Italian dishes.
– McDonald’s – Well-known fast-food restaurant serving burgers, fries, and more.
– Subway – Sandwich shop providing a range of fresh and customizable options.

3. Emergency Services:
– Forest City Police Department – Local law enforcement agency ensuring safety and security in the area.
– MercyOne Forest City Medical Center – Hospital providing emergency medical services and healthcare facilities.
– Forest City Fire Department – Firefighters and emergency responders ready to assist in case of emergencies.

International Forest of Friendship Trail Difficulty Notes

The International Forest of Friendship Trail presents a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for individuals with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience. The trail encompasses a diverse terrain, including both flat sections and moderate inclines, which may require some effort to navigate. Hikers can expect to encounter uneven surfaces, tree roots, and occasional rocky patches along the way. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, it is advisable to wear appropriate footwear and exercise caution during wet or slippery conditions. Overall, the International Forest of Friendship Trail offers a rewarding and enjoyable hiking experience for those seeking a moderate challenge amidst the beauty of nature.

Features And Attractions

The International Forest of Friendship Trail is located in Atchison, Kansas, and features various scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum: This museum is dedicated to the famous aviator Amelia Earhart, who was born in Atchison. It showcases her life, achievements, and artifacts.

2. Lewis and Clark Pavilion: This pavilion commemorates the historic expedition of Lewis and Clark, who passed through the area during their exploration of the American West.

3. Atchison Riverfront: The trail runs along the Missouri River, offering beautiful views of the riverfront and its surrounding natural beauty.

4. International Forest of Friendship: The trail itself is part of the International Forest of Friendship, a living memorial to aviation pioneers from around the world. It features trees planted in honor of these individuals.

5. Mount Vernon Cemetery: This historic cemetery is the final resting place of many notable figures, including Amelia Earhart’s grandparents and other prominent Atchison residents.

6. Independence Creek Nature Area: Located near the trail, this nature area offers hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and a peaceful escape into nature.

7. Santa Fe Depot: This historic train depot is a significant landmark in Atchison and showcases the city’s rich railroad history.

8. Atchison County Historical Society Museum: This museum provides insights into the history and heritage of Atchison County, including exhibits on Native American culture, pioneer life, and more.

9. Benedictine Abbey: The trail passes by the Benedictine Abbey, a beautiful and historic monastery that has been a part of Atchison since the 1850s.

10. Atchison Rail Museum: This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of railroads in Atchison and features exhibits on locomotives, train cars, and the impact of rail transportation on the region.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the International Forest of Friendship Trail. Exploring the trail will provide visitors with a rich cultural and natural experience.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Respect and protect the natural environment, including plants and wildlife.
4. No hunting or fishing is allowed on the trail.
5. No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
6. Bicycles are allowed but must yield to pedestrians and follow posted speed limits.
7. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
8. Fires and open flames are strictly prohibited.
9. No littering or dumping of any kind is allowed.
10. Use designated parking areas and do not block access roads or gates.
11. Follow all posted signs and trail markers.
12. Be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as closures during extreme weather conditions or maintenance activities.
13. Respect private property boundaries adjacent to the trail.
14. Use the trail during daylight hours and avoid trespassing on the trail outside of operating hours.
15. Be considerate of other trail users and maintain a safe distance when passing.
16. Report any trail damage, hazards, or suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities.
17. Observe and comply with any additional rules or guidelines posted at specific trail sections or entrances.

Seasonal Information

The International Forest of Friendship Trail is a magnificent destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Located in Atchison, Kansas, this trail is a tribute to aviation pioneers from around the world. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that offer a more enjoyable experience.

One of the best times to visit the International Forest of Friendship Trail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant blooms and blossoms, creating a picturesque setting. The weather is usually pleasant, with mild temperatures and occasional showers that enhance the beauty of the surroundings. Springtime also brings migratory birds, making it a great opportunity for birdwatching along the trail.

Another ideal time to visit is in the fall, specifically in September and October. As the leaves change colors, the trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn hues. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it perfect for hiking and exploring the trail at a leisurely pace. Fall also offers a quieter and less crowded experience compared to the peak summer months.

It’s important to note that the International Forest of Friendship Trail does not have any seasonal closures. However, it is worth checking the trail’s website or contacting the local authorities for any temporary closures or maintenance work that may be taking place. Additionally, it is advisable to bring insect repellent during the summer months to ward off mosquitoes and other bugs that may be present in the forested areas.

Overall, the International Forest of Friendship Trail is a captivating destination throughout the year. Whether you visit during the vibrant spring or the colorful fall, you are sure to be enchanted by the natural beauty and historical significance of this unique trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Pathways: The International Forest of Friendship Trail features paved pathways throughout the park, allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
2. Accessible Parking Spaces: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the entrance of the trail, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are provided at various locations along the trail, offering facilities that meet ADA standards.
4. Braille Signage: The trail incorporates Braille signage at key locations, providing visually impaired individuals with important information and directions.
5. Handrails and Ramps: Handrails and ramps are strategically placed along the trail to assist individuals with mobility challenges in navigating slopes and uneven terrain.
6. Benches and Seating Areas: The trail offers numerous benches and seating areas along the pathways, providing opportunities for individuals to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
7. Service Animal Accommodation: The International Forest of Friendship Trail welcomes service animals, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can be accompanied by their trained companions.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas within the trail are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, allowing everyone to enjoy outdoor dining experiences.
9. Accessible Viewing Areas: The trail features designated accessible viewing areas, allowing individuals with disabilities to appreciate the scenic beauty of the forest.
10. Accessible Informational Materials: Informational materials, such as brochures and maps, are available in accessible formats, including large print or electronic versions, to cater to individuals with visual impairments or other disabilities.

Safety Information

When visiting the International Forest of Friendship Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths and avoid venturing off into unmarked areas. This will help prevent getting lost or encountering potential hazards.

2. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear suitable for walking on uneven terrain. Consider the weather conditions and dress accordingly, including wearing sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent if necessary.

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

4. Carry water and snacks: It is essential to stay hydrated, especially during longer walks or hikes. Carry an adequate supply of water and some light snacks to keep your energy levels up.

5. Inform someone about your plans: Before heading out to the trail, let someone know about your plans, including the estimated duration of your visit. This way, if any unforeseen circumstances arise, someone will be aware of your whereabouts.

6. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious of any potential hazards such as uneven terrain, fallen branches, or slippery surfaces. Watch out for signs indicating any specific dangers or warnings.

7. Respect the environment: Help preserve the beauty of the forest by not littering and disposing of waste properly. Leave no trace behind and follow any guidelines or rules set by the forest management.

8. Carry a map or guide: It is advisable to have a map or guide of the trail with you to navigate through the forest. Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand to avoid getting lost.

9. Check weather conditions: Before visiting, check the weather forecast to ensure you are prepared for any changes in weather. Avoid visiting during severe weather conditions or storms.

10. Travel in groups if possible: If you can, visit the forest with a companion or in a group. This can enhance safety and provide assistance in case of emergencies.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring any natural area. By following these guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and safe experience at the International Forest of Friendship Trail.

Conservation Notes

The International Forest of Friendship Trail is a unique natural area that holds significant conservation value. As a designated forest, it is subject to various conservation measures aimed at preserving its ecological integrity and protecting its biodiversity. The trail is carefully managed to ensure the sustainability of its natural resources and the long-term survival of its diverse plant and animal species.

Efforts are made to maintain the forest’s pristine condition by implementing strict regulations on human activities within the area. These regulations include restrictions on logging, hunting, and other potentially harmful practices that could disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem. By limiting human interference, the International Forest of Friendship Trail can continue to provide a safe haven for numerous species, allowing them to thrive and contribute to the overall health of the forest.

Conservation initiatives also focus on the restoration and preservation of native vegetation within the trail. Invasive species are actively managed and removed to prevent them from outcompeting and displacing indigenous plants. This ensures that the forest remains dominated by its natural flora, which is essential for maintaining the habitat and food sources required by the diverse wildlife that call the International Forest of Friendship Trail their home.

Overall, the conservation status of the International Forest of Friendship Trail is of utmost importance. Through careful management and protection measures, this unique natural area can continue to serve as a vital ecological sanctuary, supporting the preservation of biodiversity and providing a valuable resource for scientific research and education.

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