This is as beginner of a trail as it gets.
This trail is in a state park, so you'll need a vehicle sticker to park inside. Otherwise, you can hike in for free.
Cheney Lake offers a great place for beginners to hit the dirt without the risk of any intimidating obstacles. This hike is a 5-mile out-and-back with a couple of different trail options which allows you to mix up your hike! The start of the trail is at the southeast end, but you can jump in anywhere along the route or turn around at any point to shorten the mileage of your hike.
Need to Know
Bug spray is a must!
The southern third is through big cottonwood trees and has a mix of clay and sandy soils. Use caution on the sand as it's easy to slip. Some of the trail was covered in wood chips years ago, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
The middle of the hike is open fields with a few views of the water from a distance. These areas are mowed and well-maintained, but there's not always a tread.
The northern section of the hike shares a path with a disc gold course. Be sure to look out for players as you hike the trail. Unfortunately, the main trail has not been maintained past the course. Use caution when picking a line through many large fallen trees, piles of driftwood and tall prairie grass. You may have to slow down on a few sections if you choose to continue past mile four.
There are numerous trails back to the main paved road that can be used for a bail-out if needed. Bring plenty of water as there are no water facilities past the middle section.