Blue River (Missouri)

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Coordinates: 39°07′48″N 094°28′15″W / 39.13000°N 94.47083°W / 39.13000; -94.47083
Blue River
Big Blue River
Blue River at Byram's Ford where the Battle of Byram's Ford (a skirmish of the Battle of Westport) was fought by Swope Park
Country United States
States Kansas, Missouri
Part of Missouri River
 - left Brush Creek (Blue River)
City Kansas City
 - location East Johnson County, Kansas, United States
 - elevation 725 ft (221 m)
 - coordinates 38°48′31″N 094°40′50″W / 38.80861°N 94.68056°W / 38.80861; -94.68056 [1]
Mouth Missouri River
 - location Kansas City, Missouri, United States
 - elevation 221 ft (67 m) [1]
 - coordinates 39°07′48″N 094°28′15″W / 39.13000°N 94.47083°W / 39.13000; -94.47083 [1]
Length 39 mi (63 km), Northeast [2]
Blue River in the Kansas City metropolitan area

The Blue River (also known as the Big Blue River) is a 39.8-mile-long (64.1 km)[2] stream that flows through Johnson County, Kansas and Jackson County, Missouri in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The river rises in Johnson County near the border of the states of Kansas and Missouri. Crossing the city of Kansas City, Missouri, it empties into the Missouri River near the border between Kansas City and Independence, Missouri.

One of its major tributaries is Brush Creek.

Mountain bike trails[edit]

The Blue River has mountain bike trails running along it parallel to Holmes Road in southern Kansas City, Missouri. These trails are located in the Red Bridge area and attract casual and hardcore bikers. The trails are believed to be located on what used to be a dirt race track***, and in some places along the trail there remain concrete foundations. Motor vehicles are not allowed due to the fear of a fire started by sparks from an exhaust system.

      • Not a dirt race track, the flat, engineered areas are a former steam railroad bed. Portions of which were replaced later by the Union Pacific / KC Southern Mainline which generally parallels the Blue river into the bottoms railyard near Front Street in Kansas City.

From Dodson Missouri south to Martin City MO this was the former roadbed of the Missouri Pacific. This roadbed followed the Blue River and had many curves. The route was straightened in 1954 with the use of three high trestle bridges over the Blue River and one substantial cut.

The three western trails, the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails crossed the river just north of Red Bridge Road and Minor Park. Mountain man/ fur trapper Jim Bridger had a trading post at this location.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Blue River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 1978-10-13. Retrieved 2013-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 31, 2011