9053 Monticello Rd, Lenexa, KS 66220 – park hours: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Black Hoof is a 231-acre park surrounding a 35-acre lake and is perhaps the most scenic suburban hike in the city. It is located in a newly developing neighborhood yet still feels very secluded. One section leads through pine trees and feels like being in Colorado. This very flat, mostly shaded trail winds around the lake and is about two miles long, with a short loop in a wooded area. One side of the lake features a structurally unique spillway damn. The walk can be extended by continuing downhill, past the dam, which eventually turns into 91st Street and connects to the Millcreek trail system.  

Fishing and Boating at Black Hoof

Boating is allowed with non-power boats only, and a valid state fishing license is required for anyone between 16 and 74. Discounted senior fishing licenses are available. The lake is stocked with channel catfish, black crappie, bluegill, sunfish, and largemouth bass. Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash, and non-motorized bicycles are also permitted.

The only thing that interferes with your enjoyment of Black Hoof Park is the possibility of noise from a nearby shooting range on the days when the range is opened. 

Birders’ Paradise 

A secluded section of the lake was thoughtfully developed as a bird sanctuary, including the water nesting boxes and a boardwalk to observe the wildlife from close proximity. The birding website Ebird lists 208 species of birds that have been identified. According to the site, Black Hoof Park is one of the top spots for bird watching in the city. At times strong winds will bring out birds not usually seen in this area. 

Get Involved with Ebird

Ebird is a “crowd-sourcing” database allowing volunteers anywhere in the world to submit data about birds they spotted at specific GPS locations. It also functions as a search engine where you can quickly identify birds. The engine has 35 search attributes that allow you to narrow the species by characteristics like body color, flight patterns, bill shape, song type, and many more.

Map of trail
Extending the like loop via 91st Street toward Millcreek Road, the hike is a little under 5 miles. 
Map of park area
There are many paths to take in this newly developing suburban area.
Walking trail going through pine trees
For a few minutes, you may think you are in Colorado.
Wooden walkway over a lake near trees
A well-planned bird sanctuary has a wooden boardwalk where you can experience beautiful nature and observe a wide variety of wildlife.
Trees with their bases in the water
Submerged old trees make an interesting scenery.
Lotus pads floating on the water
In the summer, lotuses bloom on the lake.
A view of the spillway dam
A view of the spillway dam, completed in 2006, a central architectural feature of the lake


State of Kansas fishing license



book cover Birding Basics

Birding Basics: Tips, Tools & Techniques for Great Bird-watching by Noah K. Strycker

Call Number: 598.072 STRYCKER

Publication Date: 2022

book cover Field Trips

Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird Watching, Shore Walking by Jim Arnosky

Call Number: J 508 ARNOSKY

Publication Date: 2002

book cover Bird The Definitive Visual Guide

Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide by Gill Pitts, BirdLife International, Dorling Kindersley

Call Number: 598 BIRD

Publication Date: 2022

Magda Born


Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101          

913-295-8250 ext 1103