City Escape: Kansas City, Missouri

Text: James T. Parks • Photography: James T. Parks

Easily negotiated, relaxing route that features interesting historical locations and rural byways across sprawling prairielands. The best time to go is late June through October to avoid potentially severe thunderstorms in spring and especially cold riding conditions in other months.

Length

Approximately 200 miles

Meet-up Spot

Starbucks at 2107 South 4th St, Leavenworth, KS.

Lunch Stop

Ruby’s Landing, 102 E Atchison St, Atchison, 
KS, (913) 367-7829. Family style restaurant located next to the Missouri River.

Scenery (3 out of 5)

Rolling prairie, expansive river, and lake views. The late 19th and early 20th-century architecture of Atchison, KS, and St. Joseph, MO, is a visual delight.

Traffic (3 out of 5)Moderate to light traffic except in the Kansas 
City metro area.

Difficulty (1 out of 5)

Not a technically challenging route. Summers can be quite hot, so hydration is particularly important in those months.

Road Conditions (3 out of 5)

Although generally in good shape, road conditions vary on the more rural sections of the route.

Points of Interest

  1. Frontier Army Museum 
Exhibits and artifacts on the Army’s role in protecting westward bound settlers. usacac.army.mil/cac2/CSI/FrontierArmyMuseum.asp.
  2. Weston Bend State Park 
Panoramic views of a big bend in the Missouri River. www.mostateparks.com/park/weston-bend-state-park.
  3. Pony Express National Museum 
The eastern terminus of the original Pony Express route. www.ponyexpress.org.
  4. Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum 
Former home of Amelia’s 
grandparents, Judge Alfred Otis and Amelia Harres Otis. 
www.ameliaearhartmuseum.org.
  5. Perry Lake 
A flood-control reservoir and recreational lake constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers that offers numerous outdoor recreational activities.

To download the free tankbag map and GPS file, look on the webpage side bar (on the top right side), under "Article Media."