If you live in Kansas City, this is your local backpacking trail. At 30 miles long, it's the longest trail in Kansas, and the only trail within a two hour drive that actually requires backpacking.
Despite the unique nature of this trail to the region, it is hardly every mentioned by local backpackers. I've seen several references to Indian Cave State Park, Clinton Lake, and others, but not Perry Lake. Some of this may be due to the stated restrictions on trail-side camping. There are 3 official campgrounds (one primitive), but two of these are closed for the winter time, prime backpacking season.
If you're live near this trail it's certainly worth doing. There is really one good way to complete this trail.
- Start at the Slough Creek trailhead.
- Hike 15 miles to the Old Military Trail primitive camping spot.
- Hike the rest of the trail back to where you started.
If you're not sure you can handle this kind of mileage, you may want to do some shorter trails to work up to 15 miles per day.
Water on the Trail
This trail isn't remote enough for me to trust the water sources. There are residences and agriculture around. My filter can remove bacteria and viruses from a water source, but it can't remove agriculture chemicals, and pesticides. Therefore, I just stash my extra water near the Old Military Trail campground before hiking. This also allows me to leave my filter at home and reduce my weight. I always carry Aqua Mira drops with me though.