United States

Wichita, KS

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Wichita

From its perch on the banks of the Arkansas River, Wichita is the largest city in Kansas. This Kiowa territory became known as a “Cowtown” along the Chisholm Trail, then entered the modern age as a hub for aeronautics. Today, the city is a hotspot for manufacturing and healthcare businesses, and a destination for music-lovers, museum-goers, and sightseers. There is a good variety of running in Wichita, from lovely river paths to parks and extensive multi-use trails.

The signature running spot in Wichita is the Arkansas River Path along the downtown waterfront. Runners will find other good multi- use trails in the K 96 Path, the Prairie Sunset Trail, and the Red Bud Trail. Noteworthy Wichita neighborhoods to run include College Hill and Riverside, and there is also good park running in Sedgwick County Park and Chisholm Creek Park. For a one-of-a-kind art tour, run the strip of the Douglas Design District which hosts more than 50 murals. Locals say the terrain in Wichita is notoriously “flat and fast.”

Getting around the flat streets of Wichita is pretty easy. Most travelers choose to drive, but the small city offers other public transportation, including a cheap (but somewhat limited) bus system, a bike share program, and a free downtown trolley. For travel outside of the downtown area, a car is recommended. Also, be prepared for winter weather that can be harsh and thunderstorm-prone summer afternoons.

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Wichita has hot summers and cold winters. Summer heat creeps well into the 80s and is humid. Keep an eye out for thunderstorms. Winters are cold but not frigid, with daytime highs aound 40F (5C) and lows dipping into the 20sF. Winters tend to be drier, with summer rains typically coming through thunderstorms.

The hottest spot to stay in Wichita is the Old Town area, where visitors will find several hotels.

Otherwise, Wichita is quite small and driveable, so the hotels to the east or west of downtown are also good choices. There is a large cluster near the airport, and several other choices in the Eastborough and Route 96 areas.

For more info on local hotels, check out the listings at VisitWichita.com.

Fleet Feet Sports Wichita — with 2 east and west locations — offers frequent running groups and training programs. They were also extremely helpful with this guide! This calendar lists the group runs across all their stores.

First Gear Running Co. hosts a Wednesday night Track Night at Cessna Stadium at 6:30. 

For other groups, check out Derby Running Club and Run Wichita.

Check out Run Wichita’s Race Calendar for upcoming events.

Fleet Feet also has a great local race calendar.