Hike West Ridge Trail in Weston Bend State Park
Missouri › West Ridge Trailhead
Added by Jon King
This is an easy, scenic hike that features a river overlook, wildflowers, and excellent bird watching.
A short day trip from Kansas City, Weston Bend State Park offers a nice getaway for those seeking the outdoors.
How to get there:
Weston Bend State Park is approximately 35 miles northwest of Kansas City. From Kansas City take I-29 N to exit 20 for Weston. Turn left on MO-371 N. Continue onto MO-273 N. Turn right on the first stop light to stay on MO-273 N. Prior to entering Weston, turn left on MO-45 S at the stop light. The entrance for Weston Bend State Park is shortly after on the right hand side.
Continue on the main road of the park. You’ll pass the campground on your right and a historic tobacco barn on the left. Turn left at the next intersection toward the scenic overlook. Park anywhere in the parking lot. You’ll see a sign for Harpst Trail on the left. Walk a short distance toward the overlook and you’ll see the trailhead for West Ridge Trail.
The trail begins along a ridge overlooking the Missouri River. Continue along the ridge until you reach the Harpst Valley junction. Keep straight at the junction. You’ll descend through forested bluff until you reach the paved biking trail. Turn left and follow the paved trail for approximately ¾ of a mile. Soon you’ll see a bench and signs for the West Ridge Trail and Harpst Trail on the left. Choosing the West Ridge Trail will take you back up Harpst Valley until you reach West Ridge Trail. Here you’ll retrace your steps along the ridge back to the trailhead. Taking Harpst Trail will take you on an incline until you reach Harpst Trailhead. Both will finish at the parking lot. Personally, I prefer to finish along Harpst Trail to make it a full loop hike.
I find this hike most enjoyable in mid-late October during peak fall color. However, you’ll find better views of the Missouri River in the winter and early spring when the leaves are down. I’d avoid this hike if there has been a recent rain. The trail can get extremely muddy. Allow 1-2 hours to complete this hike.
After the hike venture into Weston for a drink. If you enjoy wine, the Pirtle Winery is an excellent choice. They have great wine and a beautiful outdoor patio. If you’re a beer guy like me check out O'Malley's Pub at the Weston Brewing Company. Aside from making awesome beer, you just can’t beat the vibe of their basement pub.
- Hiking boots
- Change of clothes (If venturing into Weston)
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ReviewsLeave a Review
A Beautiful Surprise
I live about 30 minutes south of Weston, however I have never made my way up there. My close friend and I, itching for a little adventure to kick off the season, woke up at the crack of dawn and decided to drive up and see what the fuss was all about. On first look the trail we found ourselves on seemed like any other trail you can find anywhere on the eastern side of Kansas or western side of Missouri, honestly I was a bit worried that it would turn out like every other slightly hilly trail I had ever traversed, but as the title may suggest I was pleasantly surprised when we finally got on the dirt paths and started climbing. I wouldn't say the view is spectacular but for what it is, it is well worth the trip up. It features a great view of the Missouri River bend and if you look hard you can see Leavenworth KS to the southwest. I'd imagine the perfect time of year to go if you want the view is early spring as the leafy growth had already started filling in the gaps from which you can see the view. All in all a lovely little park and an especially lovely trail with plenty of elevation for us flat landers.
Weston Bend - An Escape From The City
Weston Bend State Park is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of KC. Weston Bend tops my list of great local hikes. Just 15 minutes outside Kansas City, Weston offers many trails to provide a full days worth of hiking. The West Ridge Trail is my personal favorite and definitely the most scenic trail in the park, but my wife and I also enjoy the paved Weston Bluffs Trail which connects the park to the charming little town of Weston. One caveat: As someone who has hiked all across the United States, hiking in western Missouri just isn't going to be breathtaking. (Sorry Missouri, I still love you.) So take it for what it is. If you live in the area and need a nature get away, Weston Bend is the place for you! If you're traveling from out of state to come to Weston Bend, think again.
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