Check out your local 4wd clubs and shops. There really isn't any 'local' wheeling areas to the KC metro. There are several 4wd parks within couple hours of driving.
Clubs: kcjeepclub.org, kc4wda.net are ones I belong to. Each has a meeting and club ride once a month. Both clubs camp and wheel at the local parks as well as other wheeling areas within 4-5 hour drive.
- kanrockspark.com is a private park near Ft. Scott (83 miles from my driveway). Open weekends only, minimum fee to enter.
- Tuttle Creek, Randolph, KS (outside Manhattan) is a park open to atvs and 4wds. Its operated by Army Corp.
- SMORR (Southern Missouri Off Road Ranch) smorr.net is a private park as well 1 hour east of Springfield, MO.
Then there is Disney, OK, Poteau, OK, and Arkansas trails, all within 5 hr drive.
There are several 4wd forums near KC also: the clubs have their own forums, trailkrawlers4x4.org, kansaskrawlers.com, and Brushbeaters.com (near Nevada/Ft.Scott).
Both clubs welcome new members. KCJp October run is to Kanrocks, Nov to Manhattan. KC4WDA October run is to Manhattan, November to SMORR.
Before attending any outing, both clubs have minor requirements for the vehicle. Tow hooks front/rear, seat belts for all passengers, spare tire, fire extinguisher, first aid are among the general requirements.
97 TJ SE lifted, locked and rubbered for fun
94 YJ SE stock, 225s, Trail Tested