Walking and Biking

All trails are patrolled regularly by Clay County Park Rangers.

Smoke & Davey Trail System

The Smoke & Davey Trail System, named after two Clay County Parks staff members who constructed the trail system, is composed of three trails; BackboneWhispering Pine, and Copperhead Ridge.

Smoke & Davey/Backbone Trail is 2.7 miles in length and is the primary trail of the Smoke & Davey Trail System. Backbone Trail begins on the north end at the Smoke & Davey Trailhead located on Highway W just east of the W Boat Ramp and bridge. The trail initially follows an old road bed cut south with a moderate downhill grade for one mile to the lake’s edge and then follows the lake shore around to the Sailboat Cove parking lot. Features along this trail include passing near 15 acres of grassland restoration, rest stop benches, waterfowl viewing along the lake, a restroom at Smoke & Davey Trailhead and a restroom facility with drinking water at Sail Boat Cove. The single track mountain biking trail, Whispering Pine Trail and Copperhead Ridge Trail are all accessible from Backbone Trail

Whispering Pine Trail is 1.4 miles in length. The trail winds through areas with many red cedar trees and hardwood tress like oak and hickory. The trail contains two lookout points along the east side of Smithville Lake’s Little Platte arm. Whispering Pine Trail intersects with Backbone Trail in four locations and is easily accessible from the Smoke & Davey Trailhead.

Copperhead Ridge Trail is 0.7 miles in length. This trail follows the higher ridges along the lake’s edge and contains a covered shelter for a convenient rest stop. Copperhead Ridge Trail is easily accessed from Backbone Trail.

Camp Branch Trail System

The Camp Branch Trail System is composed of three trails: Bonebender Trail; Campground Trail and Eagle's View Trail.

Bonebender Trail is 6.0 miles in length and is accessible from the Sailboat Cove parking lot to the north and from the Park Office/Camp Branch Swim Beach area to the south and from within the Camp Branch Campground. Bonebender Trail meanders along the east shoreline of Smithville Lake's Little Platte arm through hardwood forests and restored grasslands. Features along this trail include: numerous views of Smithville Lake, two Lookout Points with rest benches, a covered shelter area with picnic tables, restroom and shower facilities at Sailboat Cove, Camp Branch Campground, Camp Branch Swim Beach, Camp Branch Storm Shelter and additional primitive restroom facility, easy access to Camp Branch Campground's 9-hole Disc Golf Course, Camp Branch Swim Beach, and Camp Branch Campground Outdoor Amphitheater (new for 2013). 

Campground Trail is 2.9 miles in length and as the name implies, follows the lake's shoreline around the perimeter of Camp Branch Campground. While connected to Bonebender Trail, the Campground Trail is accessible only within Camp Branch Campground and is very convenient for Campground users. Features along this trail include views of Smithville Lake and Lookout Point with a rest bench.

Eagle’s View Trail is 1.5 miles in length and is accessible only from the Eagle’s View Trailhead on the north side of Collins Road across from the Park Office entrance. The trail follows the shoreline up to the Kelsey Short Youth Camp area before looping back into the hardwood forest and back to the trailhead on the same route. The trail was given its name because of the numerous Bald Eagles that can be seen there during the winter months.

Crows Creek Trail System

The Crows Creek Trail System is composed of two trails: Anita B. Gorman and Cabin Fever Trail.

Anita B. Gorman Trail is 1.9 miles in length and is accessible from Collins Road to the north and from Crows Creek Boat Ramp area the south. In 2007, this trail was re-named after former Missouri Department of Conservation Commissioner, Anita B. Gorman, for her active involvement with the Smithville Grassland Revitalization Project and her long-time support of wildlife habitat restoration. Anita B. Gorman Trail follows the shoreline of the main lake channel through predominately hardwood forest. Features along this trail include relatively consistent grade, borders 25 acres of grassland restoration, a covered shelter with picnic tables, and access to the more primitive equestrian/hiking trails.

Cabin Fever Trail is 7.0 miles in length and is accessible from Crows Creek Boat Ramp area to the north and from Access 25 at the west end of 160th Street. Cabin Fever Trail hugs the shoreline of the Crows Creek arm of Smithville Lake and is easily accessible from the Crows Creek Campground to the north. The southern half of Cabin Fever Trail follows the lake's shoreline and perimeter of Crows Creek Picnic area, a less populated area of the park. Features along this trail include numerous views of Smithville Lake and Dam, 2 lookout points with rest benches, 2 playgrounds, 6 shelters with picnic tables, 12 restroom buildings - some with drinking fountains and access to the Crows Creek Campground Outdoor Amphitheater.

Little Platte North Trail

The Little Platte North Trail is a 2.5 mile long trail. The trail is only accessible from the trailhead located at the east end of 188th Street. This trail winds along the higher ridges of the west side of Smithville Lake’s Little Platte arm. The trailhead features a restroom, bike rack and a bicycle fix-it station.

Little Platte South Trail

The Little Platte South Trail is 5.5 miles long. It is accessible from its trailhead near the intersection of F Hwy and Litton Way on the southwest end, and the Paradise Pointe Marina parking lot on the north end. This trail is also accessible within Little Platte Park at the Little Platte Swim Beach, Shelter 1 and Shelter 2. Notable features along the trail include the Little Platte Swim Beach, restrooms, picnic areas, the Little Platte Playground and 3 disc golf courses. Next to the Paradise Pointe Marina parking lot, is a tornado shelter with restrooms as well. The trailhead features a restroom, bike rack and a bicycle fix-it station.

Clay County, Mo.

Contact Parks

Clay County Park Office

17201 Paradesian
Smithville, MO 64089

Summer Hours:
Parks Office at Camp Branch
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Monday - Thursday

7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday-Sunday

phone: (816) 407-3400
fax: (816) 407-3411

E-mail the Parks Department