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State parks

www.ksoutdoors.com

Yo u r official guide to kansas s ta t e pa r k s


KS State Parks

contents 04

welcome A letter from KDWPT

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about Kansas State Parks

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cabins From sleeper to deluxe

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trails Options for hiking, biking and horseback riding

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activities From archery to hunting to mountain biking

legend Amenities

KS state parks

The Sisters’ State Park Quest

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17

20

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Northwest region

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Northeast region

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events

southwest region

North Central region

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46

southeast region

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contacts

State parkS

info

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resources

south Central region

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programs

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map of kansas

Yo u r official guide to kansas s tat e pa r k s

on the cover

A kayaker fishes in Southeast Kansas Photograph by David Mayes

Harland Schuster

www.ksoutdoors.com

Sam Brownback Governor Robin Jennison Secretary All images courtesy of KDWPT unless otherwise noted.

This guide was released in January 2017 with the latest and most updated information at time of printing. Park information is updated throughout the year online at

Editorial production and design by Sunflower Publishing

www.ksoutdoors.com

www.sunflowerpub.com

The Kansas State Parks Guide is published by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612, (785) 296-2281 www.mcaprint.com Wichita, Kansas

Printer

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KS State Parks

Welcome

Mission The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is the public steward of the state’s natural resources and is charged with inspiring people to visit these and all attractions in Kansas. KDWPT’s mission is to: • Conserve and enhance Kansas’ natural heritage, its wildlife and it habitats to ensure the benefits of the state’s diverse, living resources for future generations; • Provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate the natural resources of Kansas, consistent with conserving those resources; • Inform the public about the natural resources of Kansas to promote understanding and develop assistance with this mission; • Encourage the public to visit and travel in Kansas and stimulate tourism and travel-related spending in the state by promoting its recreational, historic, cultural and natural attractions. The agency works toward its mission through activities in the following categories: • Administration • State Parks • Hunting and Public Lands • Fishing and Public Waters • Boating • Tourism • Conserving Habitats and Species • Law Enforcement • Information and Education

www.ksoutdoors.com Fall River State Park

WELCOME

Come explore Kansas’ state parks and experience the healthy benefits of hiking one of our many trails or spend a relaxing weekend in one of our many cabins. The mind, body and soul benefit from connecting with nature in the outdoors. Our state parks provide many wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities close to home. People of all generations are seeking active, authentic, participatory experiences—the kind of memory-making, family activities that connect families in healthy, meaningful ways. There are no better

places to enjoy the Kansas outdoors than our 26 state parks; after all, the more than 6.5 million people who visit Kansas state parks every year would agree the benefits are endless. The state parks include 32,200 acres of land, more than 500 miles of trails, more than 280 miles of roads, more than 10,000 campsites, and access to more than 130,000 surface-acres of water. Each year, our parks enhance visitors’ experience with more than 220 special events, ranging from triathlons to music festivals. Then again, some people want to just kick back, relax and leave the stress of

daily life behind. Our state parks are perfect for that too. As you browse through the Kansas State Parks Guide, you will notice the amazing variety of landscapes, facilities and activities available. There are options to suit all tastes, abilities and interests. We think you will find just the right park and just the right spot to connect with nature and rejuvenate your spirit. I hope to see you at a Kansas state park! Linda Lanterman State Parks Director

Harland Schuster

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Voted a “Best Small Town in Kansas” by the readers of KANSAS! Magazine

10-5pm Wed-Sat | 1-5pm Sun

(785) 887-6148 | www.lecomptonkansas.com

Bring the whole family to enjoy: • Over 28 miles of trails • Playground with 3 levels of difficulty • Restroom facilities • Picnic shelters • Large parking lot with grills Admission is just $20 daily for vehicles or $5 for bicycles or hikers. Purchase an annual access pass for only $70.


KS State Parks

About

Kansas State Parks

Now is the time to discover a rich variety of outdoor adventures at Kansas’ state parks. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism manages 26 state parks. Many parks offer utility hookups, cabins, primitive camping sites, beaches and boat ramps. Most parks also feature easy access to reservoirs, trails and wildlife areas. All the state parks are immersed in natural areas highlighting beautiful and untamed Kansas landscapes. Whatever your outdoor interest—hiking, camping, wildlife watching, fishing, boating, bike riding, horseback riding, hunting or just plain relaxing—a Kansas state park has what you’re looking for. Use this guide to discover the Kansas state parks in your area, or to find a park that offers the activities you’re looking for. Visit our website, www. ksoutdoors.com, for current park fees and additional details. You can also contact any state park directly using the phone numbers or emails associated with each park.

Fees State park fees can vary depending on location and desired activity. For a complete listing of permit fees, visit www.ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Park-Fees.

Motor Vehicle Permits Daily or annual vehicle permits are required to use most state parks. Senior and disabled vehicle owners can take advantage of special discounts (Kansas residents only). Motor vehicle permits are available at KDWPT park and regional offices. A motor vehicle permit is not required for Kaw River State Park or Mushroom Rock State Park, and motor vehicles are not allowed on Prairie Spirit Trail State Park (see Trail Permits, below). Permits expire December 31 of each year.

State Parks Passport Kansas motor vehicle owners can purchase a “Kansas State Parks Passport,” an annual park vehicle permit, as part of their vehicle registration process. The permit costs $15.50 (without a passport the annual permit is $25). This non-transferable permit is only available during the vehicle registration process at a motor vehicle registration office, through the online vehicle registration site (www.kswebtags. org), or when registering by mail. The Kansas State Parks Passport is valid for one year.

KDWPT

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KS State Parks

Campsite and Cabin Reservations

CheneyState StatePark Park Lovewell

Trail Permits

Camping

Cabin Rental

A “per-person� trail permit is required to use Prairie Spirit Trail State Park (except the portion of the trail within the city limits of Iola, Garnett and Ottawa). These permits are available for daily or annual use. Other than a motor vehicle permit, no additional permits are required to use trails located in other state parks.

A camping permit is required in addition to the motor vehicle permit for overnight stays at state parks where camping is allowed. In addition to daily camping, visitors can purchase 14-day or annual camping permits. All daily camping permits expire at 2 p.m. Special seasonal camping permits are available at some parks. Camping is not allowed at Kaw River, Mushroom Rock and Prairie Spirit Trail state parks.

Rates vary depending on location, dates and amenities desired. Visit www.reserveamerica.com for availability and reservations.

RV Utilities Parks with RV sites require a camping permit in addition to a utility fee. Up to three utilities may be available.

Get Social

Special Event and Youth Camping permits are also available. Seasonal camping permits are available at some parks. Fees can vary depending on the season.

Share your state park visits with the world by using the hashtag #MyKsStatePark.

To browse parks, see amenities, check availability and make reservations, visit www.reserveamerica.com, or call a KDWPT state park office or the KDWPT Operations Office at (620) 672-5911 during normal business hours. The number of campsites available for reservation will vary by park—in most parks about half of the sites can be reserved. The rest will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shelter and group campground reservations can be made through the park office where the facilities are located.

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KS State Parks

Cabins

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Atchison State Fishing Lake Cedar Bluff state park Cheney state park Clinton state park Crawford state park Cross Timbers state park Eisenhower state park El Dorado state park Fall River state park Glen Elder state park Kanopolis state park Kansas state fairgrounds Kingman State Fishing Lake Lake Scott state park Lovewell state park McPherson State Fishing Lake Milford state park Mined Land wildlife area Ottawa State Fishing Lake Perry state park Pomona state park Prairie Dog state park Tuttle Creek state park Webster state park Wilson state park

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sleeper Cabins Minimum amenities Beds, heat/AC, electricity. No cooking facilities provided. deluxe Cabins Beds, heat/AC, electricity, water, bathroom with toilet, shower, and sink, kitchen with stove, oven, and refrigerator.

No linens provided. Bring your own linens, toiletries and food. Telephone and TV not provided.

Harland Schuster

www.ksoutdoors.com/state-parks/reservations

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Cabins

Complement any outing with a relaxing stay in a comfortable cabin at a Kansas state park, wildlife area or fishing lake. More than 115 cabins are available across the state, located at 19 state parks and five wildlife areas or fishing lakes and one at the Kansas State Fair. Deluxe cabins feature refrigerators, stoves, microwaves and coffee pots, as well as separate bedrooms and full bathrooms with showers. Basic sleeper cabins are also available. Most cabins can sleep four to six adults while
others can sleep up to 10 adults. Roughly half of the cabins are ADA-accessible. Nightly rental rates vary depending on location, season, day
of the week and available amenities.

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Cross Timbers State Park

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KS State Parks

Flint Hills Nature Trail

trails

An exciting development across the nation has been the rise of rail-to-trail routes for bicyclists and hikers. Kansas is definitely part of the action, with several routes such as the Flint Hills Nature Trail. At 117 miles in length, the trail crosses through a wide area of central and central-eastern Kansas through beautiful territory. Several access points are available to the public, including a trailhead near Pomona State Park. The Flint Hills Nature Trail is free and open to the public every day of the year. FHNT

ksoutdoors.com/Services/Flint-Hills-Nature-Trail-Project

KDWPT Schuster

Cedar Bluff Cheney Clinton Crawford Cross Timbers Eisenhower El Dorado Elk City Fall River Glen Elder Hillsdale Kanopolis Mushroom Rock Kaw River Meade Milford Perry Pomona Prairie Dog Prairie Spirit RT Sand Hills Scott Tuttle Creek Webster Wilson

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With thousands of miles of trails available, opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding can be found throughout Kansas. Most state parks and many wildlife areas and fishing lakes have hiking trails available that encompass a wide variety of terrain, distances and physical abilities. ADA-accessible accessible trails are available at many state parks. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism maintains nearly 500 miles of recreational trails, providing visitors with plenty of options for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and nature appreciation. Trails also provide visitors the opportunity to get close to flora, fauna and natural geological formations unique to the state or to walk where Native Americans or early Kansas settlers once traveled. The natural settings of Kansas state park trails provide a renewing of the spirit and peace of mind seldom found in the urban landscape. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also maintains trails at many of the state’s major reservoirs. Some of these trails connect with state park trails, creating expansive trail experiences. Discover Kansas trails—truly a moving experience.

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Hit the Trail

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ils

Kaw River State Park

1 1 1 trail, 5 miles 3 3 trails, 6.5 miles 3 1 3 trails, 29.75 miles 4 4 4 trails, 8.25 miles 5 4 5 trails, 15.75 miles 2 1 1* 3 trails, 27.5 miles 6 5 1* 6 trails, 30 miles 4 2 5 trails, 10.75 miles 5 5 5 trails, 6.5 miles 3 3 trails, 7.5 miles 2 2 1* 2 trails, 39 miles 5 2 1* 5 trails, 31.44 miles 1 1 trail, .5 miles 6 6 6 trails, 3.5 miles 1 1 1 trail, 3.4 miles 4 4 1* 4 trails, 13.6 miles 2 1 1* 2 trails, 40 miles 3 2 3 trails, 3 miles 1 1 1 trail, 1.4 miles 1 1 1 trail, 52 miles 7 7 5 7 trails, 15 miles 2 1 1* 2 trails, 7.3 miles 6 3 1* 7 trails, 22.5 miles 1 1 trail, 3 miles 3 1 3 trails, 26 miles

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KS State Parks

Activities

Tuttle Creek State Park

Things to do

The Kansas state parks offer a variety of activities— from archery ranges to hunting areas, basketball courts to baseball fields, fishing to boating, and even disc golf. For a complete list of activities available at state parks, visit the individual park pages.

Archery Recreational archery is a fast-growing sport that can be enjoyed—and mastered—by enthusiasts young and old. It can be practiced as a sport on its own or as a stepping stone or adjunct to bowhunting or bowfishing. Recreational archery ranges can be found at the following locations: Clinton State Park Eisenhower State Park El Dorado State Park Elk City State Park Hillsdale State Park Lovewell State Park Prairie Dog State Park Tuttle Creek State Park Webster State Park

Hunting Hunting is allowed by special permission in more remote areas at a handful of state parks. Most state parks are adjacent or close to a state wildlife area where public hunting is allowed with fewer restrictions. Check with the specific park office for more information and restrictions. Renting a cabin or parking an RV at a state park are great options for hunters seeking comfortable lodging during their hunt.

Shooting Ranges Supervised shooting ranges are located at Hillsdale State Park and the Fancy Creek Area of Tuttle Creek State Park. El Dorado State Park is in the process of developing a shooting range. Supervised shooting ranges are also located at Shawnee State Fishing Lake and Cheney Wildlife Area. All supervised ranges have limited hours. Unsupervised ranges are located at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge (Don Brown Memorial Shooting Range), Hollister Wildlife Area and Glen Elder Wildlife Area. Fully automatic firearms are not allowed at any range on department lands. For information on shooting ranges available to the public, visit www.ksoutdoors.com/Services/ Education/Shooting-Ranges. See all activities at:

www.ksoutdoors.com

KDWPT

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KS State Parks

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Legend Facilities and Amenities in Kansas State Parks

Use this legend as a reference for each of the parks listed in the State Parks Directory pages.

Archery Range

Hiking (Trails)

Bait Shop

Historical Site

Biking

Hunting

Boat Ramps

Kayaking

Boating

Marina

Cabins

Mountain Biking

Campgrounds w/ Utility Hookups

Nature Trails Park Office

Canoeing Picnic Areas Courtesy Docks Playground Disc Golf Primitive Campground Drinking Water Restaurant Dump Stations Restrooms Equestrian Trails Shelters Fire Rings Shooting Range Fish Cleaning Station Showers Fishing Harland Schuster

Swimming Grills Waterskiing Group Camp Elk City State Park

Wildlife Watching


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KS State Parks

kansas state parks Lovewell

Prairie Dog 70

The Sisters’ State Park Quest My sister-in-law, Monicka, and I have always been drawn to the outdoors. We’ve both crisscrossed Kansas and have enjoyed stopping at parks, museums, historical sites and natural attractions. But even after a lifetime in Kansas, we noticed there were still parts of this big state that we had not seen— some missing pieces from our personal travel maps. We hatched a plan to fill in some of these blank spots by visiting (or re-visiting) all of the 26 Kansas state parks. And we didn’t want to settle for a short trip. We wanted a visit that would include a hike through every location so that we could experience each state park’s landscape and features. And we’d do it all in one calendar year. Thus, our State Park Quest was born. And for the next 12 months we carried out our journey. Working around our various work and family commitments as well as some unpredictable Kansas weather was challenging at times; there were months we couldn’t fit in a hike and times we got caught in bad weather, and days when we couldn’t find the trailhead, or lost our way while on the trail, or hit high water and had to retrace four miles of hiking. There was also that time when one of us (OK, it was me) forgot hiking shoes and had to walk in flip flops, but all in all, it was the best quest ever and the most fun I’ve had traveling in Kansas in one year. I’ve included my take-away for each park on the following pages, but I’d urge anyone to do the same (well, not the flip-flop part) and experience what our state has to offer. And if you don’t have time for all parks, consider setting up your personal list and visiting the most that you can. Happy travels! Mary Gage

Glen Elder

Webster

Cedar Bluff Scott

Wilson

70

Tuttle Creek Milford

Mushroom Rock

470

Clinton Pomona

235

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Park

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35

Prairie Eisenhower Spirit Trail

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El Dorado

Cheney

Meade

635

Hillsdale

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Sand Hills

Page

Perry

Kaw

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Kanopolis

Park

70

Cross Timbers

Fall River

Crawford

Elk City

Page

Cedar Bluff . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Lake Scott. . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Cheney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Lovewell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Clinton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Meade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Crawford. . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Milford. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Cross Timbers . . . . . . . . . 41

Mushroom Rock . . . . . . . 25

Eisenhower . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Perry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

El Dorado . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Pomona. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Elk City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Prairie Dog . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Fall River . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Prairie Spirit Trail. . . . . . . 44

Glen Elder. . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Sand Hills. . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Hillsdale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Tuttle Creek. . . . . . . . . . . 26

Kanopolis. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Webster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Kaw River. . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Wilson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27


KS State Parks

Northwest

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Arikaree Breaks This baby canyon is located in Cheyenne County near St. Francis. The deep valleys and ravines were created from wind and today confirm the varying demographics of land in Kansas. Measuring 36 miles long, and at points a few miles wide, the breaks are a sight to see. Cooper Barn The famed Cooper Barn is located in Colby at the Prairie Museum of Art and History. Many consider the barn to be the largest in Kansas, but even more unique to the structure is that it was actually built 16 miles northeast of Colby and later moved to its current location. Mount Sunflower Mount Sunflower sits just at the Kansas and Colorado borders between Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 40. Mount Sunflower is the highest point in Kansas at 4,039 feet. Byways Western Vistas Historic Byway Smoky Valley Scenic Byway Physiography Most of the Northwest Region is considered part of the High Plains physiographic region, featuring excellent farmlands that slope downward from the west. Areas of the eastern part of the region are considered to be in the Smoky Hills physiographic region. The area was once covered by a large sea, leaving traces of aquatic life and amazing rock formations.

• Prairie Dog 70

• Webster 70

Jason Lindsey

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Prairie Dog State Park

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KS State Parks

Cedar Bluff State Park at Cedar Bluff Reservoir

32001 147 Highway Ellis, KS 67637 CedarBluffSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Cedar-Bluff-State-Park (785) 726-3212

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primitive cabins

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primitive campsites

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standard full hookups

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Seasonal (long term) full hookups

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standard water and electric hookups

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Wrapped around Cedar Bluff Reservoir are the roads of the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway. The gentle rollercoaster hills stretch across the horizon and keep the ride interesting as you drive into the park. Our hike here was on the Agave Ridge Nature Trail. For us, the highlight of this trail is the limestone-bluff-adorned 5-mile loop and scenic overlook complete with a welcome viewing bench for weary feet. Ahhh!

Historic Points of Interest Threshing Machine Canyon, the site of an 1867 Native-American attack on a wagon train bearing a threshing machine, is accessed by a road west of the park. In the historic canyon, you will find carvings dating back to the mid-1800s. The Cedar Bluff Reservoir is also located along the old Butterfield Overland Despatch trail (BOD). A stone marker for the BOD trail can be seen along the highway near the Cedar Bluff dam.

At the Park

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Stay

Cedar Bluff State Park is located in the heart of Trego County, almost exactly halfway between Denver and Kansas City. The area around the park is known to offer some of the finest upland and big game hunting, making its cabins ideal for your base camp. Unique to this park, a portion of the Page Creek Area is designated as a handicapped hunting access area. The park boasts two different recreation areas encompassing 1,100 acres on the 6,000-acre Cedar Bluff Reservoir. The reservoir is popular among boating enthusiasts, fans of water sports, and anglers. For a stunning view of the lake, take a drive to the top of the 150-foot-high limestone bluffs that give the lake its name. Visitors will also enjoy that Cedar Bluff is located on the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway. Providing everything from hiking and wildlife watching to spaces for family reunions, Cedar Bluff State Park stands out in western Kansas.


KS State Parks

Prairie Dog Stat e Park at Keith Sebelius Reservoir

13037 State Highway 261 Norton, KS 67654 PrairieDogSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Prairie-Dog-State-Park (785) 877-2953

Prairie Dog State Park occupies 1,150 acres on the shores of Keith Sebelius Reservoir and is home to a thriving prairie-dog colony. Though the park was named before prairie dogs called the area home, it’s now the site of a 300-animal colony about a quarter-mile south of the park office. After reintroduction efforts failed, the species voluntarily found its way to the state park and has been calling it home ever since. A 1.4-mile nature trail complete with interpretive signs is a great place to explore the park and observe wildlife. Anglers have found productive fishing for black bass, wiper, crappie, catfish and saugeye. The adjacent 6,400-acre Norton Wildlife Area offers good prospects for spotting pheasant, waterfowl, turkey and rabbits. Both white-tailed and mule deer can be found here, as well as a variety of furbearers; however, hunting is not allowed in the state park.

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modern cabins

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primitive campsites

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day use shelters

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standard hookups with electric and water KDWPT, Mary Gage

Historic Points of Interest Visitors can see a renovated adobe house, originally built in 1892, one of the last adobe buildings in the country in its original location. The house was preserved by a group of activists during the park’s creation. The Hillmon Schoolhouse, which was relocated in the 1960s, can also be seen at Prairie Dog.

At the Park

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standard hook-ups with electric

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standard hookups with electric, water and sewer

Shortgrass Prairies Kansas is known for its tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills region; Prairie Dog, however, is known for its shortgrass. Located in northwestern Kansas, Prairie Dog State Park is the perfect place to view natural grasses and see how they differ from those toward the eastern and central parts of the state.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest The prairie dog town and historic adobe house cast a unique spell on us. It was a thrill to stop at the viewing area near the 300-animal prairie dog colony and spot the little guys as they popped in and out of their burrows. Not far from the one-room schoolhouse and the historic adobe home was the Steve Mathes Nature Trail. Here, we hiked across the prairie under wide open skies, taking in views of the adjacent Keith Sebelius Reservoir.

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KS State Parks

Webster State Park

Stay 2

cabins

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at Webster Reservoir

primitive campsites

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shelters

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standard full hook-up

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standard hook-ups with electric

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At Webster State Park a sandy beach awaits visitors seeking a retreat in prairie setting of rolling hills and spacious skies. Fossils dot the rock formations around the lake. The park has camping available near the water, which is clear water due to the rocky shoreline. Webster offers more than 25 Toadstool, Wyoming, and Wauconda shelters to protect from wind and sun. The park’s Coyote Trail is a three-mile nature trail with 33 interpretive stations. The reservoir serves as a migration area for waterfowl, shore birds, and numerous eagles. Boating, fishing, waterskiing and windsurfing are popular activities at Webster. Anglers will enjoy casting a line for walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish and flathead catfish. The 8,018-acre Webster Wildlife Area is home to whitetailed and mule deer, pheasants, quail, waterfowl, wild turkey, squirrels and songbirds.

Side Trip Webster State Park is about 20 miles south of Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge, with its abundant opportunities to watch prairie wildlife. A visitor center is located about 6 miles east of the town of Glade on K-9 highway and is open Monday–Friday. Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera! www.fws.gov/refuge/Kirwin/

At the Park

Water Sports The gorgeous Webster Reservoir is known for its watersports opportunities. Visitors can ski, tube, windsurf, boat and more. Fewer boats create plenty of room for these recreational favorites, making them safer for all involved.

standard hook-ups with electric and water

The Sisters’ State Park Quest We loved how Webster is set among the Chalk Hills with a healthy population of pheasant, quail and deer. It was a perfect place to play under the wide open skies. After a visit to Nicodemus National Historic Site, just 10 miles west of the lake, we headed to Webster Reservoir and enjoyed a hike on the Coyote Trail. Armed with the interpretive brochure from the state park office, we were able to easily keep track of the flora, fauna and wildlife as we hiked.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

1140 10 Road Stockton, KS 67669 WebsterSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Webster-State-Park (785) 425-6775


KS State Parks

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Byway The southern portion of the Western Vistas Historic Byway concludes in Scott City.

Southwest

The El Quarteljo Museum and Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection Learn about the fascinating history of what is believed to be the most northern and most eastern Pueblo settlement in North America at the El Quartelejo Museum. Other sections of the museum include children-friendly hands-on exhibits about fossils and information on pioneer history. The museum shares space with the Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection, displaying the art of this Western-theme painter. elquartelejomuseum.org jerrythomasart.com Cimarron National Grassland Explore this massive, preserved grassland. Camping, hunting, hiking and wildlife watching are all available. fs.usda.gov/goto/psicc/cim Try Southwest Kansas Three southern communities come together to highlight unique experiences in Kansas. Visit Dodge City, home of the Boothill Museum; Garden City, home of the Lee Richardson Zoo; and Liberal, home to Dorothy’s House & Land of Oz—all ready to host curious visitors. tryswkansas.com Dalton Gang Hideout Explore a secret stone tunnel believed to be used by the Dalton Gang for escaping the law at this historic homestead. The site also features a Wild West facade town for picnics and photo-ops. oldmeadecounty.com

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KDWPT

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Lake Scott State Park

435

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KS State Parks

Lake Scott State Park at Scott State Lake

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Lake Scott State Park offers a unique Kansas landscape. You do not immediately notice the difference as you drive down the Western Vistas Byway south of Oakley and enjoy the expansive views on the high, dry plains. The big sky and distant horizon give no hint that soon an oasis of cool water and rustling trees will appear. A spectacular canyon of rocky bluffs and lush green around Scott State Fishing Lake invites travelers to explore. We hiked the enchanting 7-mile trail around the lake, appreciating the El Cuartelejo ruins and the views from the high bluffs.

101 West Scott Lake Drive Scott City, KS 67871 ScottSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Scott-State-Park (620) 872-2061

Lake Scott State Park, located in the western Kansas prairie, is an astonishing retreat of natural springs, deep wooded canyons and craggy bluffs. The 1,020acre park surrounds the 100-acre, spring-fed Scott State Fishing Lake. Visitors enjoy a swimming beach and playground, and a concessions building stocks camping and fishing supplies during the summer. Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are also available seasonally. Rich in history, the park hosts the remains of El Cuartelejo, the northernmost pueblo in the U.S. The home of the early settlers of the area is now the Steele Home museum. The park is also part of a historic scenic byway. Nature trails accommodate hikers, equestrians and naturalists, and provide excellent opportunities to observe wildlife in natural habitats. Wild turkey, deer, bobcat and beaver are all common in the area.

Stay 2

modern cabins

120

primitive campsites

Steele Homestead Museum Visit this 100-plus year-old historic home inside the park. The Steele home was built by the area’s original settlers. It was also the Herbert Steele family who donated their land in 1928 in order to make the state park a reality.

At the Park

El Cuartelejo El Cuartelejo is what remains of the only known Native-American pueblo in Kansas. The adobe and stone foundation is all that has survived. The pueblo was built by the Taos in 1664 and was last occupied by the Picurie. No Native Americans occupied the pueblo after 1706 although Spanish and French forces lived there occasionally for the subsequent 20 years.

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shelters

7

standard full-hook-up campsites

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standard hook-ups with electric and water

KDWPT, Mary Gage

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KS State Parks

Meade State Park at Meade State Lake

KDWPT, Mary Gage

13051 V Road Meade, KS 67864 MeadeSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Meade-State-Park (620) 873-2572

Meade State Park, located in southwest Kansas, is known as the “Oasis on the Plains.” The park comprises 440 acres of shortgrass prairie and recreational facilities situated around the 80-acre Meade State Fishing Lake. This park is ideal for fishermen, hunters and nature enthusiasts, but it also includes day-use areas and a swimming beach. Meade is also the only park in which you have views of the lake from any vantage point. The State purchased the property in 1925 and the dam was built between 1927 and 1928 by hand, mule skids and a couple of small tractors. The lake opened in 1929, but work continued in the area with the Civilian Conservation Corps/Works Projects Administration stationed here from 1938 to 1943. Now, the park features opportunities to learn about Claude Hibbard’s archaeological digs, Native American campsites, and travels of Coronado through the area. Anglers and hunters will find reward in the area. Fresh catches might include bluegill, trout, crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass (and don’t miss the fish hatchery). Hunters can find dove and quail, as well as deer, turkey, rabbit and the occasional waterfowl.

At the Park

The Sisters’ State Park Quest With the Meade State Park hike on December 9, we completed our quest to hike all the state parks in one year. It was the farthest park from our home base—but one we were going to take full advantage of. We budgeted time to drive the beautiful Gypsum Hills Byway and stopped over in Dodge City. We walked the Santa Fe Trail at Cimarron National Grassland and checked out the largest hand-dug well in Greensburg. We found the Dalton Gang Hideout in Meade, and finally, we hiked on the prairie where we passed cattails and cottonwoods lining the shore of the lake.

Historic Point of Interest The Meade Fish Hatchery was initially constructed in the 1930s and is the only hatchery in southwest Kansas. Today, the hatchery consists of seven lined ponds covering more than 10 acres. Intermediate channel catfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye and grass carp are among the fish species cultured at the Meade facility. Tours are available by appointment by calling (620) 873-2701. The best times to see fish are April through June.

Stay 54

primitive campsites

4

shelters

42

standard hook-ups with electric and water

19


20

KS State Parks

North Central

Kansas State University Located in Manhattan, Kansas State University is a neighbor to Tuttle Creek State Park. Stay at the park while also enjoying Wildcat Football, homecoming, academic events and the Beach Museum of Art. The US 36 Treasure Hunt If you enjoy antiquing, then you’ll love the US 36 Treasure Hunt. It is held annually in mid-September as communities along the northern highway US 36 join forces to sell various antiques in this three-day event. Fort Riley Located near Junction City and Milford State Park, Fort Riley is home to the 1st Infantry Division, “Big Red One.” Visit the base’s historic museums, enjoy a driving or walking tour and mark your calendar for patriotic events. Byways Post Rock Scenic Byway Prairie Trail Scenic Byway (northern section) Native Stone Scenic Byway Physiography The North Central Region includes the physiographic regions of the High Plains, a portion of the Flint Hills and the Glaciated Region. All three regions feature rolling hills along the northern border of the state.

• Lovewell 70

70

• Glen Elder • Tuttle Creek Milford • 70 • Wilson

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Mushroom Rock • Kanopolis •

435

70

35 35W

235

35

Tuttle Creek State Park

21 Glen Elder 22 Kanopolis 23 Lovewell 24 Milford 25 Mushroom Rock 26 Tuttle Creek 27 Wilson

KDWPT

35


KS State Parks

Glen Elder State Park at Glen Elder Reservoir & Waconda Lake

Kansas Highway 24 and Glen Elder Dam Rd. Glen Elder, KS 67446 GlenElderSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Glen-Elder-State-Park (785) 545-3345

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Glen Elder State Park is situated on the shores of Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake). The 12,500-acre lake is named for the mineral spring covered when the lake was filled. Native Americans called the spring Wakonda, meaning “great spirit.” Plenty of activity abounds at the park including swimming, boating, hiking and bicycling. Anglers will enjoy outstanding crappie; walleye; white, largemouth and smallmouth bass, among others. The Chautauqua Fishing Pond offers easy access for individuals with disabilities and families with children. The pond is stocked with trout, and in the winter a trout permit is required. The park hosts a variety of special events annually including Youth Fishing Derby, Youth and Women’s Pheasant Hunt in November and yearly fireworks show on July 4th weekend.

You never know what you’ll see along the park’s hiking trails, which offer a combined 4 miles of exercise and beauty. Even more natural wonders can be seen on the Waconda Nature Trails, which are in development. Be sure to watch for pheasant, deer, waterfowl, turkeys, bobcats, and even the occasional bald eagle.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest After admiring the beautiful lake views and historic Hopewell Church in Waconda Heritage Village, we gained an appreciation for what the submerged natural spring may have looked like with our hike to the Waconda Springs replica. The trip was complete with a short excursion to nearby Cawker City to see the world’s largest ball of twine.

Historic Points of Interest It’s not unusual to hear wedding bells at Glen Elder’s Waconda Heritage Village, which features the historic Hopewell Church. Visitors glimpse the area’s past through historical displays in the park. The Waconda Springs replica is at the park’s highest elevation and offers an unequalled view of the surrounding the area.

At the Park

Wildlife Watching

Stay 2

cabins

195

primitive campsites

3

shelters

120

sites hookups with electric and water Boat ramps in Kanza and Osage with ADA courtesy docks

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22

KS State Parks

Kanopolis State Pa rk at Kanopolis Lake

200 Horsethief Road Marquette, KS 67464 KanopolisSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Kanopolis-State-Park (785) 546-2565

At the Park

Trails

Stay 6

cabins

200+

primitive campsites

5

shelters

16

standard hook-ups

63

standard hook-ups with electric

54

standard hook-ups with electric and water

10

designated equestrian campsites

Kanopolis offers 27.4 miles of trails open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Relax on the Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail while observing native plants, wildlife and the geology of the canyon. Numbered posts along the trail correspond to numbers in the trail’s brochure, providing interesting tidbits along the way. The Horsethief Trail loops through canyons and trees. Farther north and west, the Prairie Trail traverses high prairie and Red Rock Canyon. The Alum Creek Trail takes visitors across the vast prairie and through many water crossings. Note that it can take more than a day to complete some trails on foot.

The scenic rolling hills and burnished red and gold of the sandstone bluffs surrounding the lake seemed to inspire hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders at this park. The name of our hiking trail, Horsethief Canyon Trail, invited images of outlaws and explorers forging their way west down the Smoky Hill Trail. We hiked around tall rock spires, into ravines, across a small creek and, at one point, scrambled up to a hide-out-sized cave to wait out a sudden rain shower.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Kanopolis State Park, the first park in the Kansas State Park system, is in the rolling hills, bluffs and woods of the scenic Smoky Hills region of central Kansas. From the towering Dakota sandstone bluffs to the caves and crevices of Horsethief Canyon, the park and surrounding area offer rugged beauty and stunning vistas. Since its inception, the park has received many accolades. Its trail system has been recognized by National Trails System and was designated as a Millennium Legacy Trail by the American Trails Board. In 2002 the Coalition for Recreational Trails recognized the trails system for Outstanding Use of Recreational Trails Funds for Accessibility Enhancements. In addition to trails, visitors will enjoy the 3,500-acre Kanopolis Reservoir, offering excellent fishing opportunities for white bass, crappie, walleye, saugeye, wiper, largemouth bass and channel catfish.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


KS State Parks

Lovewell S tat e Park at Lovewell Reservoir 2446 250 Road Webber, KS 66970 LovewellSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Lovewell-State-Park (785) 753-4971

Lovewell offers an inviting blend of camping, fishing, wildlife watching and special events. The Pioneer Day-Use Area features a playground, sand volleyball court, disc golf course, basketball court and horseshoe pits—ideal for casual visitors. The historic limestone schoolhouse serves as a nondenominational church, hosting church services each Sunday in the summer. The 2,200-acre Lovewell Wildlife Area invites hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to experience a variety of well-managed habitats. Lovewell is a haven for those who love the water. The south shore’s high bluffs block the summer winds and help alleviate rough waters on the 2,900acre Lovewell Reservoir. The full-service marina rents boats and kayaks/ paddleboards. Courtesy docks and boat ramps are available throughout the park. For the land-lubbers, Southwinds Swimming Beach offers plenty of sun and shade.

Fishing

KDWPT, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Close to the northern border and only about 30 miles from the geographic center of the United States, Lovewell is a place to settle in and get away from it all. Camping areas cluster around basketball courts, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a baseball field and a disc golf course. Anglers also flock to this wildlife and fishing haven. Our hike under majestic cottonwoods along the shoreline took us to a viewing spot where several pods of American white pelicans fished and soared.

At the Park

The reservoir is home to quality fishing for walleye, white bass, wiper, crappie, and three varieties of catfish. Once you’ve caught your dinner, visit Lovewell’s lighted, accessible fish-cleaning stations, with outlets for electric knives. The park’s full-service marina sells bait and tackle. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the state park office and the marina.

Day trips The third weekend in September marks the US 36 Highway Treasure Hunt. Enjoy shopping near Mankato during this antiquefilled weekend. A few miles east of Lovewell Reservoir and about 8 miles north of US 36 along K-266 is the city of Republic, where you can visit the Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site. Learn about the people of the Pawnee Nation and discover the story of a Pawnee village that existed there in the late 1700s. www.kshs.org/pawnee_indian

Stay 9

cabins

323

primitive campsites

10

shelters

27

standard full hook-ups

35

standard hook-ups with electric

93

standard with electric and water 7-station, 14-target walk-through archery range

23


24

KS State Parks

Milford Stat e Park

3612 State Park Road Milford, KS 66514 MilfordSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Milford-State-Park (785) 238-3014

Stay 10

cabins

103

primitive sites

14

shelters

51

standard full hook-up sites

90

standard hook-ups with electric and water

At the Park

Milford State Park is a favorite getaway on the shores of the state’s largest lake—16,000-acre Milford Reservoir. The state park is a popular destination for anglers eager to experience the outstanding fishing available in Milford Reservoir and the Milford Nature Center and Milford Fish Hatchery offer a variety of interpretive exhibits and displays. Milford is a popular destination for boating and features a large yacht club, swimming beaches, boat ramps, picnic shelters, a full-service marina and a multipurpose trails system. The horse campground is ideal for equestrians and offers 20 campsites with full hook-ups, covered corrals with lighting and two wash bays. Whether you’re hunting or viewing, the Milford Wildlife Area is home to all types of native species. Roughly 19,000 acres are available for public access to hunting, wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and more.

Wildlife seemed to abound at this park and we found that it could be safely and delightfully experienced at the Milford Nature Center, the fish hatchery or the wildlife viewing tower and trail. We hiked the paths of the Eagle Ridge Trail where fields of early June grass and wildflowers were interspersed with cedar trees and woodlands close to the lakeshore.

Point of Interest Visit the Milford Hatchery, one of only a few warm-water, intensive-culture facilities throughout the entire country. Fish eggs are hatched in small containers, and the young fish are grown in fiberglass tanks and concrete raceways. The Milford Hatchery also has six one-acre plastic lined ponds that are used to raise fish.

Milford Nature Center The Nature Center, located adjacent to the fish hatchery, offers an up-close view of wildlife native to the Flint Hills area. Through exhibits and demonstrations, the center offers an educational look at the natural history of a variety of native species. Be sure to check out the outdoor perks as well, such as a prime eagle-viewing spot.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

at Milford Lake

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


KS State Parks

Mushroom Rock Stat e Park 200 Horsethief Road Marquette, KS 67464 KanopolisSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Mushroom-Rock-State-Park (785) 546-2565

Tucked into the Smoky Hills region in the north-central part of the state, the Dakota formations (mushroom rocks) are the remains of beach sands and sediments of the Cretaceous Period. This 5-acre park was donated to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (Kansas Park and Resource Authority) by the Ellsworth County Historical Society and was dedicated on April 25, 1965. The Mushroom Rocks are sandstone and sedimentary rock held together by calcium carbonate, which acts as a natural cement. The largest rock measures 27 feet in diameter. This geological oddity has drawn a variety of people including Native Americans, mountain men, soldiers and present-day tourists. It’s said that this was one of Kit Carson’s “favorite little places.” This small but mighty state park is a satellite of Kanopolis State Park. It is designated as a day-use area only. There is no camping allowed, and no permits are required.

Eat

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Pretty Boy Floyd’s pays homage to the famed 1930s gangster in this historic Ellsworth underground eatery and is known for hand-cut steaks, ambiance and delicious cocktails.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest A tiny park that packs a big punch, Mushroom Rock State Park will delight your inner kid—or maybe your inner gnome. The passage of geologic time has left large, rounded sandstone concretions on top of softer sandstone “stems,” creating giant mushroom-shaped formations. We hiked the short trails around the Mushroom Rocks and Devil’s Oven formations, crossing the footbridge to the Pulpit Rock formation and proceeded to take more photos per acre than in any other park.

Ellsworth, Kansas Only 12 miles west of Mushroom Rock State Park, Ellsworth welcomes visitors in fine fashion. Ellsworth was a thriving cowtown in the late 1860s and early 1870s where the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok and Wyatt Earp once stayed. The Ellsworth Downtown Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to visit the National Drovers Hall of Fame, honoring the founders of the great American cattle industry.

At the Park

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KS State Parks

Tuttle Creek S tat e Park at Tuttle Creek Lake 5800 A River Pond Road Manhattan, KS 66502 TuttleCreekSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Tuttle-Creek-State-Park (785) 539-7941

Located near Manhattan in the beautiful Flint Hills, Tuttle Creek State Park offers visitors a wide variety of outdoor recreation possibilities and plenty of room to roam. Tuttle Creek Reservoir, the state’s second largest impoundment, has 12,500 acres of water and about 100 miles of rugged, wooded shoreline to explore. The 1,250-acre park features camping and fishing, and there are scenic trails for hiking, mountain-biking and horseback riding. Excellent channel catfish and flathead fishing is available in the lake and in the river above and below the lake. The River Pond area offers rentals of canoes and kayaks. Families shouldn’t miss the picnic areas, an 18-hole disc golf course, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and archery range.

Mountain-Biking Trail

We weren’t at the park for the popular Country Stampede concert, but it was busy nonetheless with all sorts of boating, camping, fishing and biking. We hiked the one-mile, ADA-accessible Cedar Ridge Trail along boardwalks and wooden bridges close to the park’s lakeshore. It was a perfect day out, complemented by a stop at the Flint Hills Scenic Overlook south of nearby Manhattan and the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

At the Park

Stay 11

modern cabins

501

primitive campsites

23

shelters

8

standard full hook-ups

Shooting Range The state-of-the-art Fancy Creek Shooting Range is open the first and third weekends of the month. Fancy Creek is east of the town of Randolph, about ½-mile east and ½-mile north of the junction of US-77 and K-16.

44

standard hook-ups with electric

159

standard hook-ups with electric and water

KDWPT, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest

Tuttle Creek’s surrounding land is home to one of the steepest mountain-biking trails in the state. In fact, riders travel from across the country to try out the Kansas trail with mountainous terrain. Competitions are held throughout the year though bikers can ride this professional-grade path year-round.


KS State Parks

Wilson Stat e Park

The Sisters’ State Park Quest

at Wilson Lake

Take a cruise down the Post Rock Scenic Byway and revel in the quirky art in nearby Lucas, but don’t miss one of Kansas’ clearest and deepest lakes, Wilson Lake. In addition to that attraction, the rocky bluffs and scenic Smoky Hills surrounding Wilson State Park make it one of the state’s most beautiful settings. We were so taken with it that we did two hikes: one at the Hell Creek area on the “epic” Switchgrass Bike Trail, where even a mere walk on the cliff above the water’s edge is thrilling, and another among the towering 30-foot sandstone formations on the Rocktown Trail.

W ilsonSP@ks.gov ksoutdoors.com/W ilson-State-Park (785) 658-2465 #3 State Park Road Sylvan Grove, KS 67481

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Set in the scenic Smoky Hills region of
Kansas, Wilson State Park provides
convenient access to one of the state’s prime water-recreation areas. The park’s 945 acres consist of two areas, Hell Creek and Otoe, both situated on the south side of the 9,000-acre Wilson Reservoir. The Switchgrass Mountain bike trail is a 24.5-mile trail located in the Hell Creek area of the state park and in 2012 was the first mountain bike trail in Kansas designated as an “Epic Trail” by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Included in the bike trail is an easy 5.5-mile loop. Wilson Lake, the deepest in Kansas, will satisfy boating enthusiasts and those who enjoy water sports. Lake Wilson Marina is a full-service marina, and anglers can gear up at Knotheads Bait & Tackle Shop, located on the east side of South Shore. Wilson State Park is an ideal location for viewing and photographing wildlife, including deer, bobwhite quail, waterfowl, and numerous songbirds and migratory birds. The adjacent 8,000-acre Wilson Wildlife Area offers an array of hunting opportunities. Famous for its striped bass and walleye fishing, Wilson attracts thousands of anglers each year. Smoky Hills Wilson Reservoir features a rugged shoreline punctuated by scenic cliffs and rocky outcrops. The park is a landmark on the Post Rock Scenic Byway, which runs from Wilson north along K-232 to Lucas. Take time to drive the post rock-lined route and be sure to spend time in Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas. www.ksbyways.com

At the Park

27

Stay 8

modern cabins

99+

primitive campsites

3

shelters

4

standard full hook-ups

36

standard hook-ups with electric

95

standard hookups with electric and water

Trails Plan a day hike on the refurbished Dakota Trail. Wellmaintained trails offer magnificent wildlife views, as well as a unique perspective on the nearby lake. Users can also learn about the area with informative posts along the way. The Switchgrass Bike Trail is popular among mountain bikers. Cedar Trail in the Otoe area is a handicappedaccessible, 3/4mile loop with a concrete surface.


South Central

Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve Learn all about the history and importance of the Flint Hills at this national park. Originally the Z-Bar Ranch, this historic destination shares what life was like on a ranch in the late 1800s. Don’t miss the bison herd. Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Preserve Located near Great Bend, the Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge are two of the more important regions for migrating birds. While plenty of wildlife abounds in the area, various species of birds will stop in this area while moving north or south. Urban comforts Take a day trip to Salina or Wichita, two large communities in Kansas that offer shopping, entertainment and dining. Byways Gypsum Hills Byway Flint Hills National Scenic Byway Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway Physiography The South Central region is the most comprehensive of all the regions in terms of varying physiographic regions. The area features six landscapes including High Plains, Arkansas River Lowlands, Red Hills, Flint Hills and Osage Questas. This region includes the most abundant section of the Flint Hills, which is the state’s scenic pastureland named for its flint rock and bluestem grasses. The Red Hills also has traces of stone, including sandstone and shale mix; the area also includes many hills and mesas.

70 635

70

70

470

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70 35 35W

Cheney •

El Dorado • 235

35

Cheney State Park

29 Cheney 30 El Dorado 31 Sand Hills

KDWPT

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Sand Hills •


KS State Parks

Cheney Stat e Park

Stay

at Cheney Reservoir

primitive campsites

9

cabins

452 8

shelters

10

16000 NE 50th St. Cheney, KS 67025 CheneySP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Cheney-State-Park (316) 542-3664

standard full hookups

229

standard hookups with electric and water

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Cheney State Park is known as the windiest lake in the lower 48 states—making this park ideal for boaters and windsurfers. Only 20 miles west of Wichita, Cheney State Park frames Cheney Reservoir with its 1,900 acres of park amenities. The Ninnescah Sailing Center on the West Shore Area is a mecca for those seeking water sports with a healthy dose of wind. In addition to a marina on the East Shore, the park’s 22 boat-launching lanes provide convenient access to the 9,500-acre lake. Giefer Creek and Spring Creek nature trails offer scenic hiking around the reservoir. Anglers enjoy fishing for channel catfish, white bass, crappie, striped bass, wiper and walleye. A handicapped-accessible fishing complex is available at the Toadstool Loop Jetty.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest In Wichita’s backyard, Cheney State Park is an easily-reached prairie gem for many Kansans. Our famous Kansas winds blow feely here, creating ideal conditions for sail boaters and windsurfers on Cheney Reservoir. Prairie flowers and wildlife were in abundance for our April walk on the West Shore trails. An equal delight were the red cedars and tall cottonwoods that shaded the path across wooden bridges, while meadowlarks, hawks and black locust blooms decorated the grassland.

Day Trips The nearby town of Cheney hosts the Sedgwick County Fair each July and draws crowds for the Demolition Derby and Bull Blowout bull-riding event. During the rest of the year, Souder’s Historical Museum takes you back to life in rural Kansas in the late 1880s (www.cheneyks.org/thingstodo.html). The Eagle Valley Raptor Center is home to native Kansas birds of prey. Eagles, hawks, owls and falcons are just a few of the birds at the center, which offers up-close educational opportunities for children (www.eaglevalleyraptorcenter.org).

At the Park

Events Cheney Reservoir is known nationally for its wind and is considered a top attraction for sailing and windsurfing enthusiasts. The Ninnescah Sailing Association has hosted several regatta events, as well as informal races. The association also offers junior sailing and camps for those looking to get their feet wet early. www.ninnescah.org

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KS State Parks

El Dorado Stat e Park at El Dorado Reservoir

Stay 10

cabins

589

primitive campsites

10

shelters

165

standard full hook-ups

307

standard hook-ups with electric and water

618 Bluestem Road El Dorado, KS 67042 ElDoradoSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/El-Dorado-State-Park (316) 321-7180

El Dorado State Park is located on the edge of the scenic Flint Hills and is Kansas’ largest state park. El Dorado’s four areas sprawl across 4,000 acres along the eastern and western shores of El Dorado Reservoir. In addition to camping, boating, fishing, hiking and a large ADA archery range, the park features a large amphitheater and stage specially designed for special events and concerts. Equestrians will enjoy an outdoor arena. Seven trails offer outdoor adventure for hikers, bikers and horse riders of all skill levels. The 4,000-acre wildlife area along the shores of the upper end of the reservoir is popular for hunting quail, prairie chicken, deer, turkey, waterfowl and small game.

Horseback A modern equestrian campground with full-sized arena and attached corrals is open to the public. It offers 23 utility sites with attached corrals, 2 non-utility campsites with corrals and water, 26 non-utility sites, and a reservable shelter near the arena.

At the Park

Events A large amphitheater with dual stages accommodates a variety of concerts and festivals at the park each year. Visitors have enjoyed live music, a chili cook-off, a tractor-pull and a triathlon. The park regularly updates its Facebook page to keep fans “in the know” about events.

The park is huge and the reservoir is even larger! El Dorado Reservoir is crossed at its far northern point by I-35. At its southern end, it is adjacent to the city of El Dorado. That close proximity means a hard surface multi-use trail easily takes hikers and bikers from the city to the state park and back. A boater’s playground, the reservoir is home to the Walnut Valley Sailing Club. Our hike here was on a portion of the 17-mile Boulder Bluff Horse Trail. It was a gentle lakeshore walk, along a grassy path strewn with April wildflowers.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


KS State Parks

Sand Hills State Park

Stay 44

standard full hook-ups

20

standard hook-ups with water and electric (All sites have 50-amp service)

14

sites with horse pens

4207 E 56th St. Hutchinson, KS 67502 SandHIllsSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Sand-Hills-State-Park (316) 542-3664

A unique natural area, Sand Hills State Park is a wildlife watcher’s delight. Located near Hutchinson in Reno County, the park features excellent trails that wind through 1,123 acres of sand dunes, native prairie, wetlands and woodlands. The most popular activities at Sand Hills are camping, hiking and horseback riding. Sand Hills offers five horse-friendly trails, varying from 1.2 to 3.8 miles. Horses can also be kept at specially marked campground areas so visitors can pack in multiple days of riding fun. Or, keep the horses in provided pens while enjoying additional activities such as wildlife watching. Camping is now available at Sand Hills State Park at a new campground, which includes corrals for equestrian camping and year-round camping spots with frost-free hydrants. Archery deer and upland game hunting are available, but only by special permit.

Sand Dunes It’s not often Kansas gets to lay claim to sand dunes, especially ones that come with natural wind-blown formations and multiple hues—a beautiful and rare sight for anyone to experience. These dunes are located at the edges of Sand Hills and offer visitors adjacent access to Hutchinson’s Dune Tract.

Wildlife Blinds Get an up-close look at all types of wildlife with Sand Hills’ specialty blinds. These state-created areas are made to mimic natural habitats while simultaneously camouflaging human presence. With the use of these sophisticated blinds, onlookers are given an easy view into the lives of birds, mammals and more.

Deborah DeborahWalker Walker, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest It has woodlands, wetlands and prairie, but we thought the most interesting aspect of Sand Hills State Park was the sand dune topography. Our April hike at Sand Hills took us down the Cottonwood and Prairie trails to an overlook above the Dune Trail. We met three horseback riders, spied a few bluebirds and were thrilled to see a sandhill crane flying high above.

At the Park

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KS State Parks

Northeast University of Kansas Take a day trip from Clinton State Park to tour the University of Kansas campus. Perched on Mount Oread, the campus showcases its famed limestone buildings, a big dose of history and the Booth Hall of Athletics, celebrating the school’s basketball traditions. Spend the afternoon cruising Mass Street downtown. Miami County Located near Hillsdale State Park, Miami County is know as Kansas’ wine region. Featuring many wineries as part of the Somerset Wine Trail, the area offers breathtaking views and ideal soil for grapes. www.kansaswinerytrail.com Delicious Barbecue Staying at Eisenhower State Park? Take a short trip to Williamsburg for some of Kansas’ finest barbecue at Guy & Mae’s Tavern. If you enjoy family recipes and homemade sauce, don’t miss this attraction. Byways Glacial Hills Scenic Byway Native Stone Scenic Byway Northern portion of the Frontier Military Historic Byway Physiography Much of the region is considered part of the Glaciated Region, known for its hills and valleys with deposits of quartzite. Also in the region are some of the Flint Hills as well as the Osage Questas.

70

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35W

470

Perry •

635

435

Clinton • Pomona 35 • • Hillsdale • Eisenhower

KDWPT

35

Kaw •

235

35

Kaw River State Park

33 Clinton 34 Eisenhower 35 Hillsdale 36 Kaw River 37 Perry 38 Pomona


KS State Parks

Clinton State Park at Clinton Lake

798 N 1415 Road Lawrence, KS 66049 ClintonSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Clinton-State-Park (785) 842-8562

Patrick Emerson, Mary Gage

Clinton State Park, located just four miles from Lawrence, is a 1,425acre park that rests on the north shore of Clinton Reservoir, known for its clear water and good fishing. The park is located next to a 9,200-acre wildlife area. Popular activities include camping, picnicking and swimming; the beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Anglers enjoy channel catfish, walleye, and crappie fishing. Lake Henry is stocked with trout during the trout season. Pint-size anglers will like the “kids-only” fishing pond at the picnic area. Clinton State Park is well known for its extensive trails system used by hikers, nature photographers, mountain bikers, wildflower enthusiasts and wildlife observers. Don’t miss the crosscountry ski trail on the northern side of the park.

Wildlife In addition to endless beautiful scenery, Clinton State Park offers plenty of native wildlife. Don’t be surprised if you spot whitetail deer, turkeys, cranes and songbirds during your hike among wildflowers and prairie grasses.

Stay 7

cabins

166

primitive campsites

6

shelters

200

standard hook-ups with electric and water

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Clinton Lake shone on the horizon from the bypass around Lawrence as we approached it. The waters are known for good fishing, boating and swimming (the full-service marina was full of action). But we focused on the walkways. There are trails galore throughout this park, and mountain bikers seem to flock to the challenging North Shore trails. Our hike in March took us past wooded ravines, decadesold rock walls and shoreline lake views.

Boating Boating enthusiasts stay active at Clinton Lake. Clinton Lake Marina offers boat slips, fishing, boating supplies, equipment rental and a floating restaurant—the Submarina Deli. The boat launch area includes 16 lanes, eight accessible courtesy docks and fish-cleaning stations.

At the Park

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34

KS State Parks

Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake

Stay 2

yurts

5

cabins

31

primitive campsites

7

shelters

37

standard full hook-ups

47

S Fairlawn Rd. and W 293rd St. Osage City, KS 66523 EisenhowerSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Eisenhower-State-Park (785) 528-4102

standard hook-ups with electric

98

standard hookups with electric and water

Named after native son President Dwight Eisenhower, this 1,785-acre park features 1,000 acres of eastern tallgrass grassland. The park is popular among equestrians due to its expansive area for riding and facilities that accommodate visitors traveling with their horses. Among the lodging options, Ike’s Shelter House is an excellent area for family reunions within the Jones Family Activity Area. Other recreation facilities include a 10,000-acre wildlife area, swimming beach off of the 6,900 acre Melvern Reservoir, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, sand
volleyball court,
archery trail, kids’
fishing pond, fly-fishing pond, and an 18-hole disc golf course. Kayak, canoe and dock rentals are available. Stay the night in one of Eisenhower’s popular cabins. The park is also the only location to offer yurts.

National Historic Trails If you’re fond of the outdoors, don’t miss the rapidly growing trails system at Eisenhower State Park. Crooked Knee Horse Trail offers a 20-mile journey for horseback riders. Those looking for a two-wheeled adventure can head down the bike trail near the Five-Star campground.

At the Park

Events A hotspot like Eisenhower State Park is bound to have popular events throughout the year. Park visitors have enjoyed tie-dyeing parties, ice cream socials and more thanks to the Friends of the Eisenhower State Park. Be sure to check the Events Calendar at www.ksoutdoors.com.

Not far from Emporia and on the north shore of Melvern Reservoir, Eisenhower State Park has acres of tallgrass prairie and woodland. Twenty miles of equestrian trails make it a favorite for horseback riders. But the park also attracts visitors to its disc golf course, horseshoe pits and sand volleyball courts. You’ll find Ike’s General store, Mamie’s cabin and even yurts to rent with air conditioning and heat. We hiked the Five Star Trail, where I wished I had a bow and arrow to test my skill along the 2-mile section of archery targets.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


KS State Parks

Hillsdale S tat e Park at Hillsdale Lake 26001 W 255th St. Paola, KS 66071 (913) 783-4507 HillsdaleSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Hillsdale-State-Park

Hillsdale State Park offers a broad array of outdoor recreation opportunities in the rolling hills of eastern Kansas. Campers, anglers, boaters, hunters, swimmers, horseback riders, model-airplane flyers, hikers, naturalists, photographers and sightseers all enjoy special opportunities at this picturesque state park. Horseback riding is a popular activity with the Saddle Ridge Equestrian Area on the east side of the reservoir. A specially designated area just south of the dam is for radio-controlled model-airplane flying. And the Hillsdale Shooting Range offers handgun, rifle and shotgun shooting. Anglers will enjoy catching walleye, catfish, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. Fishing is allowed on all 51 miles of shoreline. Wildlife The Hillsdale Wildlife Area, located across the reservoir, includes nearly 5,000 acres on the northern arms of the Little Bull and Big Bull creeks. See whitetail deer, bobwhite quail, squirrel, rabbit, beaver, muskrat and a variety of waterfowl. Bird-watchers may spot bald eagles, finches, warblers, sparrows and more.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Built in an area where the historical Santa Fe Trail crossed and the likes of John Brown and William Quantrill stomped around, Hillsdale Lake is just a few miles south of Olathe. Horseback riders love the 35 miles of trails and the Saddle Ridge horse camping area. The Windsurfer Beach and Swimming Beach near Pintail Point Campground attract the summer crowd, but since it was early May when we hiked here we stayed close to the water, but not in it, on the Blue West Trail and finished just in time to watch the clouds roll over the skies bringing a refreshing spring thunderstorm.

At the Park

Stay 180

campsites with electric and water

60

campsites with electric, water and sewer

10

shelters

Target Shooting The Hillsdale Range and Training Facility includes a 100-yard rifle range, a 200-yard range, a 50-yard pistol range and a trap/ skeet shooting range. www.hillsdalerange.org

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KS State Parks

Kaw River State Park at the Kansas River

National Water Trail The Kansas River has been designated a National Water Trail by the National Park Service, offering scenic recreational, historic and cultural opportunities for novice boaters and families. Beginning in Junction City, Kansas, the Kansas River Trail flows to Kansas City at the confluence with the Missouri River.

300 SW Wanamaker Rd. Topeka, KS 66606 KawRiverSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Kaw-River-State-Park (785) 273-6740

Kaw River State Park is the only urban park in Kansas’ state park system. The park property consists of 76 acres of land on the south bank of the Kansas River in west Topeka. The area is mostly oakhickory forest overlooking the Kansas (Kaw) River and is adjacent to MacLennan Park and Cedar Crest (the governor’s residence) to the east. Wildlife species are common in the oak and hickory forest of the area. Eagles and various species of waterfowl are common visitors on the river through winter. Trail usage includes walking, hiking, running and mountain biking; the wide range of trails was designed for erosion protection, sustainability and access. The Kansas River is accessible
from a boat ramp and parking
area. This river access is available
for canoes, kayaks and other
small craft.

At the Park

Wildlife Watching The extensive—and growing—trail system at the Kaw River State Park offers the prospect of spotting deer, turkey, eagles and waterfowl.

Points of Interest The Kaw River State Park is the only state park in Kansas that does not require an entrance fee.

While the river views and the chance to launch a boat or kayak are big attractions at this park, we also found the pathways to be a delight. A thick forest towers over the trail that begins near the park office and ambles up and down small hills, over wooden bridges and through the oaks to a boat ramp at the river’s edge. The additional trails in adjacent MacLennan Park provided a view of the governor’s residence and gave us an excuse to hike a while longer.

KDWPT, Brad Neff, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


KS State Parks

Perry State Park

The Sisters’ State Park Quest If we had to describe Perry State Park in one word, it might be “expansive.” The lake itself has almost 160 miles of shoreline and is surrounded by extensive wetlands and wildlife areas, and miles and miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Our hike at Perry Lake in April gave us a chance to follow the shoreline and catch multiple lake views through early spring trees. We trekked across the rolling hills and through woodlands and enjoyed the diverse terrain.

at Perry Lake 5441 Westlake Road Ozawkie, KS 66070 PerrySP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Perry-State-Park (785) 246-3449

Brad Neff, Mary Gage

Perry State Park, nestled into the forested hills of northeast Kansas, boasts a 12,500-acre reservoir and an 11,000-acre wildlife area nearby. This state park is ideal for any lover of the outdoors. Anglers seek out Perry Reservoir for its crappie, bass and channel catfish. The marshes at Perry Wildlife Area provide early migrant bird-hunting, and deepwater areas of the marshes supply late-season mallard and diving-duck hunting. Horse riders will appreciate Perry State Park’s upland forest. These trails were designed specifically for horses, although hiking is also welcome along the intertwining 16.5 miles of scenic routes. Plan on one trail for a quick burst of scenery, or take in multiple stops for a more comprehensive tour of the Kansas landscape. Campers will enjoy views of the lake and can launch their boats at two of our boat ramps or set sail with their catamarans from Hobie Cove campground. Visitors can also have a relaxing day at the swimming beach.

Wildlife

Stay 4

cabins

9

shelters

118

standard hookups with electric and water

Rolling Hills Perry Lake, with its intricate hills and woodlands, has a reputation for beautiful scenery, whether you are hiking or enjoying the views from a boat. The sunrises and sunsets on the lake can be spectacular. These rolling hills are also home to campgrounds and plenty of shade.

At the Park

Perry Lake Wildlife Area offers an extensive wetland due to being located in the floodplains of the Delaware River. The lake’s outlying barriers capture excess water throughout the year. The Wildlife Area offers a great location for bird-watching, hunting and simply exploring a wetland environment. Perry State Park can offer visitors sightings of white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, wild turkeys, coyotes, raccoons, possums, skunks, a variety of birds and water fowl.

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KS State Parks

Pomona Stat e Park at Pomona Reservoir

22900 S Highway 368 Vassar, KS 66543 PomonaSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Pomona-State-Park (785) 828-4933

Well-known among northeast Kansas residents for shaded campsites and a great family atmosphere, the 490-acre Pomona State Park is located in Osage County. The park is nestled in an area with historical connections to the Santa Fe Trail and easy access to several metropolitan areas. Recreation opportunities at the park include camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking and wildlife viewing. Lighthouse Bay Marina provides full services to boaters, anglers, skiers and campers, and four boat ramps provide access to the lake’s generally calm waters. The Southwind Shelter House provides a gathering place for family reunions, parties, and company retreats. Reserve this facility for an upcoming event. The Southwind Shelter House is available year-round.

Fifteen miles west of Ottawa, Pomona State Park offers campgrounds along the shore under tall cottonwoods and shady oaks. Boat ramps, a swimming beach, a playground, sand volleyball courts and horseshoe pits are located throughout. We meandered through the area on a warm March day, checking out the amenities after hiking the nearby Hedgewood and Rising Sun trails. If you visit the park during the summer, try to catch an exhibition by Pomona Lake’s waterski team, the Rough Water Warriors.

At the Park

Wildlife Nearby wildlife areas offer upland bird and waterfowl hunting. Bald eagles visit the lake in the winter and are often seen perching in shoreline trees or soaring above the lake. A popular destination for anglers, the 4,000-acre Pomona Reservoir offers some of the best crappie and catfish angling in Kansas, as well as good populations of walleye, white bass and largemouth bass.

Recreation When you’re not spending time on the water, Pomona State Park offers a number of land-based activities. Visitors can play sand volleyball, horseshoes, disc golf and more. Each activity offers scenic views of the lake and its surrounding landscape.

Stay 4

modern cabins

310

primitive campsites

7

shelters

52

standard full hook-ups

92

standard with electric and water

KDWPT, Mary Gage

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


39

KS State Parks

Southeast

Hiking State parks located in the southeastern part of the state offer some of Kansas’ greatest hiking. The landscape is hilly and the parks have multiple trails of varying lengths. Also in the area is one of the first Rail to Trail pathways, the Prairie Spirit Trail State Park. The converted railroad bed now welcomes cyclists, runners and walkers along its 51 miles. Pittsburg Pittsburg is a community full of personality. A thriving art community that also admires its mining history, it is home to Pittsburg State University and a serious fried chicken rivalry. With so much to offer, Pittsburg is a can’t-miss destination. Byways Frontier Military Historic Byway Historic Route 66 Byway Physiography The Southeast region is predominately made up of the Osage Questa Region, offering steeper eastern slopes than the western part of the state. Also in the region are the Chautauqua Hills, which has remnants of thick limestone.

70 635

70

70

470

435

70 35 35W

Prairie Spirit Trail • Cross Timbers • Crawford • • Fall River • Elk City

Harland Schuster

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Crawford State Park

40 Crawford 41 Cross Timbers 42 Elk City 43 Fall River 44 Prairie Spirit Trail


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KS State Parks

Crawford Stat e Park at Lake Crawford One Lake Road Farlington, KS 66734 CrawfordSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Crawford-State-Park (620) 362-3671

Stay 5

cabins

28

primitive campsites

2

shelter

28

standard hookups with electric

45

standard hookups with electric and water

1

group use area

Historic Byway Crawford State Park is near the Frontier Military Historic Byway. This 167-mile byway runs along the eastern edge of the state, highlighting locations with historical significance. www.travelks.com/ksbyways/frontier-military/

Day Trips A short drive yields visitors a big treat in nearby West Mineral. The former mining community is home to Big Brutus, the largest electric shovel in the world. Weighing in at 11 million pounds and standing 16 stories tall, the out-of-commission shovel remains as a museum dedicated to the history of the coal-mining industry that once shaped the area. www.bigbrutus.org

At the Park

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Charming, historical Lake Crawford is small enough to be easily circumnavigated by foot, and big enough to offer great fishing, camping and boating. We enjoyed seeing the vestiges of the CCC constructions with the distinctive stonework, structures and scaleddown size of the park. We started our hike on the Spider Leg Bridge Trail and forged ahead around the lake, passing shaded campsites under tall oaks, a swim beach, a playground, a fishing pier and picnic shelters. And of course, we left time for the 40-minute pilgrimage to Big Brutus!

Harland Schuster, Mary Gage

Rich in history and spectacular scenery, the southeast Crawford State Park gives a “taste of the Ozarks.” Hiking and mountain-bike trails offer recreational opportunities nestled in the regional woodlands. Redbud trees offer spectacular beauty in spring, and the lush foliage of the surrounding forest is a naturalist’s delight. Shady campsites are peppered among a mature oak forest. The park dates back to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), whose members built the 150-acre lake in the 1930s. A short (.25 mile) interpretive trail leads visitors to a CCC memorial. Two recorded archaeological sites lay within the park’s boundaries, as well as remnants of a 19th-century U.S. military outpost. Patrons who visit the park on holidays and special occasions will enjoy the spectacle of 104 state and American flags set out along the dam by members of the park friends group.


KS State Parks

Cross Timbers State Park at Toronto Reservoir

41

Stay 4

cabins

89

primitive campsites

19

standard full hookups

8

standard hookups with electric

50

standard hookups with electric and water

Harland Schuster, Mary Gage

E Main St. and S Point Rd. Toronto, KS 66777 CrossT imbersSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Cross-T imbers-State-Park (620) 637-2213

Cross Timbers State Park accounts for 1,075 acres in the northern reaches of the physiographic region known as the Cross Timbers. The park provides access to the 2,800-acre Toronto Reservoir, with kayak rentals available to experience the waters. Those enjoying wildlife watching and nature study will find the park an unexpectedly rewarding area. The forested floodplains, surrounded by terraces of prairie and hills of oak savannah, showcase some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Kansas. Picturesque and shaded campsites within easy access of the lake are available for both full RV hook-ups and primitive camping.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest We found this park to be a diverse area of hills, grasslands, woods and marshes. Apparently, Cross Timbers State Park earned its name from early explorers who noted the band of trees stretching hundreds of miles along a north-south trajectory— and that’s still a fair description. Of all the enticing trails here, including the Chautauqua Hills Trail and the Overlook Trail, we couldn’t resist the lure of hiking among the giants of the Ancient Oaks Trail. It was an awe-inspiring experience to walk beneath these towering old-growth post oaks and read the interpretive plaques describing the historical events when each of these trees was a seedling.

Wildlife watching The adjacent 4,600-acre Toronto Wildlife Area is a diverse collection of habitats, including forests, grasslands, farmlands and marshes. Species common to the area include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, squirrel, rabbit, dove, waterfowl and raccoon.

Explore the Trails Hikers and backpackers will feel at home at Cross Timbers thanks to the park trails. Jogging and mountain biking are popular activities in the area, which includes the Chautauqua Hills Trail, where backcountry camping is allowed by special permit in certain sections.

At the Park


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KS State Parks

Elk City State Park at Elk City Reservoir 4825 Squaw Creek Road Independence, KS 67301 ElkCitySP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Elk-City-State-Park (620) 331-6295

Elk City State Park will satisfy every member of the family. Oak-hickory woodlands meet rolling meadows of big bluestem and Indiangrass at this striking 857-acre park. The 4,500-acre Elk City Reservoir and 12,000-acre Elk City Wildlife Area adjacent to the state park offer visitors ample room to pursue their pastimes. Four miles of trails stretch across the state park, which is open yearround. This is where hikers come to enjoy open prairies, wooded hills and limestone bluffs. And the kids will enjoy splashing at the swim beach. Hunters will enjoy the Elk City Wildlife Area, home to white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, cottontail, fox and gray squirrels, and prairie chickens. Common furbearers include beaver, raccoon, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, opossum, mink and muskrat.

Events This scenic state park is known for events like the Glow in the Park Run, Kids Day and August Bash. Archery enthusiasts also hold events at the park, and horseshoe tournaments attract competitive teams each spring.

Stay 53

primitive campsites

2

shelters

14

standard full hookups

85

standard hookups with electric and water

Day Trips Nearby is the bustling community of Independence. Visitors will enjoy the Little House on the Prairie Museum, which features, among other historic buildings, a reconstruction of the Ingalls’ cabin. The annual “Neewollah” (Halloween spelled backwards) celebration is October 31. The tradition, which began in 1919, features a variety of contests, the Neewollah Queen crowning, 5K and 10K races, and much more. Independence also features a host of quaint little shops in its charming downtown area. www.indkschamber.org

At the Park

The Sisters’ State Park Quest We won’t say we have favorites, but we would stress that hiking the 15-mile Elk River Trail on the north side of Elk City Lake is not to be missed. High bluffs and hills amidst towering rocks and wooded paths open to panoramic lake views and make the well-marked, nationally recognized trail a Kansas treasure. We spent a warm November day happily trekking up and down ravines, over bluffs and through narrow rock clefts. There are shorter but equally scenic and worthwhile trails in Elk City State Park, including the Table Mound Trail to the top of a noted landmark, the scenic platform of raised rocks that is Table Mound.

Harland Schuster, Mary Gage

Fishing The world-record 123-pound flathead catfish was taken from Elk City Reservoir. In their hunt for trophy fish, anglers can also catch channel catfish, white bass, crappie, largemouth bass and saugeye. State park officials hold a free fishing weekend every summer.


KS State Parks

Fall River State Pa rk at Fall River Lake 2381 Casner Creek Rd. Fall River, KS 67047 FallRiverSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Fall-River-State-Park (620) 637-2213

Fall River State Park is home to a remarkable diversity of plant and animal life. The 1,107-acre park is a unique blend of forested floodplains, blackjack savannahs and tallgrass prairie. Camping, swimming, boating, waterskiing, hiking and picnicking are popular pursuits at Fall River. A favorite pastime is canoeing Fall
River, which feeds
into the 2,450-acre
reservoir. Birdwatchers, photographers and naturalists will enjoy viewing a variety of native plants and animals. More than 8,000 acres of public wildlife area next to the park are managed for a variety of game and nongame species. Fall River offers good fishing opportunities for channel catfish, white bass, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, and walleye. Whitebass fishing can be excellent during the spring spawning run, particularly in Otter Creek and Fall River above the reservoir.

Stay 3

cabins

43

primitive campsites

2

standard full hookups

44

standard hookups with electric and water

Harland Schuster, Mary Gage

Wildlife Wildlife buffs will feel right at home at Fall River State Park. Visitors can get an up-close view of all the species that call the park home, including dove, quail, deer, waterfowl and prairie chicken. Bird-watchers and naturalists alike will enjoy the view from the six hiking trails nestled among the native plants.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest Perhaps because it is miles from any sizable city, Fall River State Park struck us as the perfect place to listen to the peaceful sounds of nature and to gaze up at brilliant stars in the night sky. In fact, the skies are so free of light pollution that the Kansas Astronomical Observers gather here for dark-sky events. We hiked across crunchy November grass on the Catclaw Trail and picnicked at the water’s edge with the quiet breeze of the prairie in our ears and a full horizon of sparkling water before us.

Events When darkness settles in, novice and experienced astronomers head to Fall River State Park. Armed with telescopes pointed at the star-filled skies, the Kansas Astronomical Observers host a star party at the end of the summer. It’s a feast for the eyes best served from this unique park.

At the Park

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KS State Parks

Prairie Spirit Trail State Pa rk

419 S Oak Garnett, KS 66032 PrairieSpiritSP@ks.gov www.ksoutdoors.com/Prairie-Spirit-Trail (785) 448-2627

Good to Know A per-person trail pass is required for persons 16 years of age and over, except in the city limits of Iola, Garnett and Ottawa. Selfissue day permits are available at trailheads. Annual permits are available where KDWPT licenses and permits are sold. Camping is not allowed along the trail but is available near the city of Garnett.

Prairie Spirit Trail: North Area About 25 miles of trail can be found on the north end of Prairie Spirit’s path. The historic trailside Old Depot Museum in Ottawa serves as a local museum and trailhead parking. The Prairie Spirit Trail connects to the Flint Hills Nature Trail south of the Marais des Cygnes River in Ottawa, and visitors can access both trails from the museum.

Prairie Spirit Trail: South Area This 26-mile section travels from Garnett, where visitors may stop in to see the historic trailside Santa Fe Depot, to Iola, where visitors can explore the historic community and then continue south to Humboldt on the Southwind Trail.

Iola The Prairie Spirit Trail passes through Iola, a Kansas town with plenty of rich history. Visitors can enjoy antique architecture and unique restaurants and shops. Don’t miss the annual Buster Keaton Celebration in September. The famed silent film actor hailed from the area.

At the Park

It’s easy to see why cyclists love the 51-mile Prairie Spirit Trail with its parking, picnic areas, drinking water, and restrooms every 5–8 miles. Ambitious riders can travel from town to town on the rails-to-trails track and will have places to eat, shop or spend the night from Ottawa to Iola. But with a little planning, hiking the trail can be an adventure as well. We dropped one car off in Garnett and drove a second back up the road to the Welda Trailhead. On foot, we headed down the trail across creeks, past farmland and tall trees for a 9-mile hike back to downtown Garnett where we enjoyed a warm lunch, basked in the sunshine and shopped on the town square.

KDWPT, Mary Gage

Prairie Spirit Trail State Park was the first of several rail-to-trail sites in Kansas. It follows the original bed of the old Leavenworth, Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad; built in the 1860s, it was the first north-south rail line in Kansas. Prairie Spirit, the only rail trail in the park system, was constructed between Ottawa and Iola between 1996 and 2008. The trail is a unique linear park through three counties in eastern Kansas with eight pocket parks along the way. The Prairie Spirit Trail connects with the 7-mile-long Southwind Rail Trail between Humboldt and Iola. Combined, the trails pass through 10 charming rural communities. It is a greenway and travel corridor open to pedestrians and bicyclists traversing diverse ecosystems including tallgrass prairie, riparian areas, and agricultural lands and communities. The trail is a hard-packed limestone screening surface in rural areas and asphalted through Garnett, Iola and Ottawa.

The Sisters’ State Park Quest


Share Our Sky of Wonder!

• Cedar Bluff State Park, Reservoir & Wildlife Area • Smoky Valley Scenic Byway • Halfway between Kansas City & Denver on 70 WaKeeney Travel & Tourism

877-962-7248 | www.WaKeeney.org Maryl Gottschalk


KS State Parks

info

Zebra mussels (mature species)

Aquatic Nuisance Species

Aquatic nuisance species are animals and plants not native to Kansas that can threaten lake and river ecology, harm desirable species or humans, and interfere with our economy. They can “hitchhike” with unsuspecting people on equipment that has come into contact with a lake or river containing an aquatic nuisance species. Help stop aquatic nuisance species…

• Clean—drain—dry boats and equipment – every lake and river, every time • Don’t dump bait in the water or drainage ditches, discard it on dry land or in approved receptacle • Don’t move live fish between bodies of water or up streams Before leaving any body of water:

• Clean—Inspect anything that comes in contact with the water, including boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, boots and waders, etc. Remove any mud, plants, animals, and other debris before leaving the area. • Drain—Remove all water from engines, livewells, bilges, bait buckets, and spaces that can hold water before leaving the area. Dump live bait on dry land or at bait disposal sites, not into the lake or stream. • Dry—Allow all equipment to dry completely (for about 5 days) before using it again. If you need to use it sooner, wash it with 140-degree water (retail car washes are OK) before using your equipment in another body of water.

Keep the water safe and clean for future fishing. Report dumping or pollution to the EPA at 1-800-223-0425.

Non-native species pose a serious threat to Kansas waters. If you find one of these species, do not release it back into the water, and remember that it is illegal to possess many of these species alive. If you find one of these species in a new location or any other species that looks out of place, please contact the Emporia Research Office at (620) 342-0658, report it online, or notify your local KDWPT office. For more information or to report a finding online, visit www.ProtectKSWaters.org. KDWPT

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KS State Parks

White Perch • Although the possession of live white perch is prohibited, dead white perch may still be possessed or used as bait on the waters where they were taken. 
 • White perch have been associated with declines in both walleye and white bass populations and out-compete native fishes for food and space. • They look very similar to native white bass and the two species can hybridize. • White perch can be distinguished by the connection between the spiny and soft dorsal fins; both fins pop up when the spiny dorsal fin is manually erected.

Zebra Mussels • Zebra mussels have been discovered in a number of Kansas lakes, streams and rivers, and they are easily spread as microscopic larvae in water, attached to hard surfaces, or in mud. • Zebra mussels filter vast quantities of water, which drastically alters the food web. Filtering may clear up the water in some instances, which can lead to more frequent or more severe harmful algae blooms and allow UV rays to damage fish eggs. • They can reach high densities, causing problems to water intakes, docks, and boat motors. Nationwide expenditures to control zebra mussels in industrial plants alone are estimated at more than $300 million per year. • Their sharp shells can cut the unprotected skin of people or pets. Shoes or other protective clothing are recommended when wading in zebra mussel-infested water. • All aquatic users need to do their part to prevent the spread of zebra mussels to other waters in Kansas. Follow the clean, drain and dry procedures on page 46 and tell others how to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.

Asian Carp • Asian carp include bighead, silver, and black carp species. • Bighead and silver carp can be found in the Kansas, Missouri, Wakarusa, and Big Blue rivers and their tributaries. Fish may not be transported live from these or other Aquatic Nuisance Species Designated Waters. • These fish are highly adaptive, prolific spawners, and they directly compete with other fish for food and space by filtering food from the water. • Silver carp pose a physical danger to boaters because of their leaping ability.

New Zealand Mud Snail • The New Zealand mud snail has not been reported in Kansas, but it is considered a priority species because of its introduction into Colorado. • Mature New Zealand mud snails average 5mm (2/10 inch) in length and have brown or black cone-shaped shells with five whorls. • NZMS disrupt the food chain by consuming algae in the stream and competing with native bottomdwelling invertebrates. A population crash of invertebrates can follow the introduction of NZMS, which reduces fish forage. With a decrease in food availability, fish populations may decline as well. • Mud snails are able to withstand desiccation and a variety of temperatures, and they are small enough that many types of water users (anglers, swimmers, pets) could inadvertently transfer this nuisance species. It takes only one snail to start an infestation.

Fertile Grass Carp • It is illegal to possess or import fertile grass carp. • Grass carp are very effective at controlling or eliminating some types of aquatic vegetation, which is why they are often stocked in small ponds to control aquatic vegetation. • Too little aquatic vegetation can be damaging to the ecosystem by removing habitat for invertebrates, small prey fish or young sportfish.

IT IS AGAINST STATE LAW TO RELEASE ANY ANIMALS INTO KANSAS WATERS. It is illegal to transport certain species in Kansas, or to release any animals onto state or federal properties. Protect yourself and your natural resources. Livewells and bilges must be drained and drain plugs removed from all vessels being removed from waters of the state before transport on a public highway. Learn more about aquatic nuisance species and take the ANS Awareness Course at www.ProtectKSWaters.org

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KS State Parks

Programs

Cheney State Park

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism offers a variety of outdoors skills, ethics and environmental education programs: • • • • •

Hunter, furharvester and bowhunter education Boating education Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Kansas Archery in the Schools Angler education

Programs enhancing the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Kansas’ natural resources include: • • • • •

Museums and nature centers Kansas Eco-Meets Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites (OWLS) Wildlife Education Materials In-service Workshops

KDWPT

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KS State Parks

Ranger Tips State Park Rangers Anthony Reitz and Michelle Campbell help keep campers safe every day. Here are a few tips from the professionals to make sure you and your family have a safe and enjoyable visit at any one of Kansas’ state parks.

• Always leave your campsite cleaner than when you arrived. • Keep perishable goods secure in a cooler over night. Nocturnal animals love to find easy meals. Museums and Nature Centers

Learn about the wildlife and natural history of Kansas through displays, dioramas, and exhibits when you visit the following museums and nature centers. You might even experience a close encounter with the native birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles of Kansas.

Workshops occur in the fall and spring—often at Rock Springs 4-H Center south of Junction City. The workshops, which take place over a weekend, begin at noon on Friday. The weekend is divided into four blocks of instruction, about three hours each. Participants choose one of 6–10 options for each instructional period. Pre-registration is required.

• •

• • •

Milford Nature Center and Fish Hatchery, Junction City Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita and Prairie Center, Olathe Wetlands Education Center, Great Bend Southeast Kansas Nature Center, Galena Pratt Education Center and Fish Hatchery, Pratt

Jason Dailey

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW)

“Becoming an OutdoorsWoman” is a workshop focused on learning outdoor skills—skills usually associated with hunting and fishing, but useful for many pursuits. The workshop is designed for women 18 years of age and older and is a chance to learn about fishing, hunting, orienteering, backpacking, camping and canoeing.

www.ksoutdoors.com/services/ education

O.K. Kids Days

In cooperation with the Kansas Wildscape Foundation, many state parks host an O.K. Kids Day during the summer, often in conjunction with a free park entry day. O.K. Kids Days activities can include fishing derbies, fishing clinics, archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, nature watching and many other outdoor adventures that encourage kids to get outside and explore, learn about nature, and get active. Contact an individual state park for information about its O.K. Kids event. The Kansas Wildscape Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving and perpetuating the land, wild species, and rich beauty of Kansas for the use and enjoyment of all. To learn more about the Kansas Wildscape Foundation, visit www.kansaswildscape.org.

• It is always a good idea to have a weather radio nearby. Knowing where to go in the event of bad weather is a must. It is important to have a plan in place if such cases arise. • If camping near water or participating in water-based activities, play it safe and have personal flotation devices readily available. It is imperative to keep your children and non-swimmers safe. “Wear It!” • Be careful with fire. Only burn in designated fire rings and never leave a fire unattended. • Be courteous to others. You and others are there to relax and enjoy your natural resources. Know the rules and adhere to them. • Sometimes things break. Please let a park employee know if there are facility issues. We want you to enjoy your stay, but sometimes we experience breakdowns. The faster we are notified the faster we can get it fixed for you. • You are outdoors. Remember that you share the area with many animals and insects.

49


50

KS State Parks

events

Many state parks either host, or are the site of, a variety of special events each year. They include activities for children and families, wildlife watching and outdoor sports tournaments. Events and schedules may vary from year to year. Be sure to contact a particular state park for up-to-date information on their events, or check the Event Calendar online at ksoutdoors.com. Elk City State Park

January

• First Day Hikes at select state parks • Eagle Days at Tuttle Creek, Perry, Clinton and Milford state parks

• Special Olympics Fishing Tournament, Clinton State Park

Summer

May

• Wish America a happy birthday with fireworks and other events at select state parks • Sand Castle Contest at Lovewell State Park • Veterans and family reunion at El Dorado State Park • Wakonda Indian Festival, Glen Elder State Park

• Enjoy a winter break in the warmth of a state park cabin • Polar Plunge, Tuttle Creek State Park • Spring Fling Bike Race Series, Clinton State Park

• O.K. Kids Days • Fishing tournaments • Cardboard Boat Races at Milford State Park • Disc Golf tournament at Tuttle Creek State Park • Women on Target, Tuttle Creek State Park • Heartland Coursing Association Dog Trails, Clinton State Park • Antique tractor parade, Glen Elder State Park

March

June

February

• Irish Road Bowling, Clinton State Park • Spring Fling Bike Race Series, Clinton State Park • Animal Show-n-Tell, Clinton State Park

Spring April

• Trail runs, bike races and marathons • Fishing tournaments • Kansas UltraRunners Society 16th Annual Rockin’ K Ultramarathon Trail Run at Kanopolis State Park • Free State Trail Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Run, Clinton State Park

• Celebrate National Trails Day at a state park • O.K. Kids Days, Prairie Dog State Park • Fishing clinics, various parks • Annual Youth Fishing Tournament, Glen Elder State Park • Country Stampede at Tuttle Creek State Park • Kids’ Day at the Range, Tuttle Creek State Park • Capital Campout at El Dorado

July

August

• Fishing Tournaments • O.K. Kids Days • Campground Christmas, Lovewell State Park • Manhattan Triathlon, Tuttle Creek State Park • Float Your Boat, Milford State Park • 3D Archery Shoot, Lovewell State Park • Lovewell Fun Day, Lovewell State Park

September

• Youth/ADA Deer Hunt, Tuttle Creek State Park • Youth Deer Hunt, El Dorado State Park • Bike race, Wilson State Park • Lawrence Trail Hawks Hawk Hundred Trail Run, Clinton State Park • Fall River Mountain Man Rendezvous, Fall River State Park

• Country Music Jamboree at Crawford State Park • Women on Target, Tuttle Creek State Park • 3D Archery Shoot, Lovewell State Park • The Country Music Jamboree and Chili Cookoff, Crawford State Park

Fall October

• Fishing tournaments • Mountain bike races • Monster Myths by Moonlight at Milford State Park • Neewollah, Independence • Dutch Oven Cookout, Tuttle Creek State Park • Prairie Long Rifles Rendezvous at Mulberry Campground, Kanopolis State Park

November

• Youth Pheasant Hunt, Glen Elder State Park

December

• Try winter camping in luxury with a stay at a state park cabin

Jason Dailey

Winter


KS State Parks

51

Contacts Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Offices www.ksoutdoors.com

Office of the Secretary

1020 S. Kansas, Room 200 Topeka, KS 66612-1327 (785) 296-2281

Pratt Operations Office 512 SE 25th Ave. Pratt, KS 67124-8174 (620) 672-5911

Emporia Research and Survey Office 1830 Merchant, P.O. Box 1525 Emporia, KS 66801-1525 (620) 342-0658

Kansas City District Office 8304 Hedge Lane Terrace Shawnee, KS 66227 (913) 422-1314

REGIONAL OFFICES Region 1 Office (Northwest Kansas) Rt. 2 (U.S. 183 Bypass) P.O. Box 338 Hays, KS 67601-0338 (785) 628-8614

Region 2 Office (Northeast Kansas) 300 SW Wanamaker Road Topeka, KS 66606 (785) 273-6740

Region 3 Office (Southwest Kansas) 1001 McArtor Drive Dodge City, KS 67801-6024 (620) 227-8609

Region 4 Office (South-central Kansas) 6232 E.29th St. N Wichita, KS 67220 (316) 683-8069

Region 5 Office (Southeast Kansas) 1500 W. Seventh St., Box 777 Chanute, KS 66720-0777 (620) 431-0380

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KS State Parks

resources 16

ATLAS COVER Pages FISH 2016.qxp_ATLAS COVER Pages FISH 1/28/16 10:58 AM Page 1

20

52

Kansas Fishing Atlas Public Public Fishing Fishing Access Access

CHECK OUT OTHER FISHING INFORMATION AT OUR WEBSITE:

ksoutdoors.com

Kansas Fishing Forecast

Kansas Fishing Atlas

Hunting

www.ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/FishingForecast The annual Kansas Fishing Forecast provides forecasts and fishing prospects in public waters throughout the state. The information is formulated from data collected by fisheries biologists through annual lake monitoring. The forecast
is released by late February. Printed copies are available at KDWPT offices.

The Kansas Fishing Atlas pinpoints a variety of public fishing areas geographically, including Fishing Impoundment and Stream Habitats (FISH) waters. FISH waters are privately owned ponds or streams that KDWPT has leased and opened to public fishing. The atlas can be downloaded from www.ksoutdoors.com or found at most KDWPT offices and license vendors.

Although hunting opportunities are limited in state parks, many are located close to state wildlife areas where hunting is allowed. Annually KDWPT publishes three helpful information sources that are essential for hunters and furharvesters. The Spring Turkey and Fall Hunting Atlases pinpoint both public hunting areas and WalkIn-Hunting Access (WIHA) locations— private properties leased by the state for public use.

Fishing Reports

Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary

www.ksoutdoors.com/Fishing/FishingReports Updated by KDWPT fisheries biologists on an irregular basis, the Fishing Reports provide biologists’ insights on fishing conditions at many departmentmanaged lakes. Information includes a general rating of what the fishing is like (poor to excellent), as well as the size range of fish being caught, and a description of successful baits, methods and locations. Another online resource is the Public Fishing Reports blog. Anglers can post comments to the regional blogs to share fishing accounts and tips.

The Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary booklet summarizes important regulations and essential laws for anglers. It features state park information and detailed regulations for each body of water managed by KDWPT. The book lists contact information for district fisheries biologists, as well as regional supervisors.

The annual Hunting Regulations Summary comes out in September and outlines the latest regulations and seasons for hunters and furharvesters, as well as providing species information and other essential things to know before you hunt.

There’s no place like Kansas to immerse yourself in the tallgrass prairie, explore our world-famous wetlands or discover Kansas’ role for freedom at our historic sites. Visit our www.TravelKS.com for your ultimate resource for all things to see, do and experience in Kansas.


KS State Parks

53

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Explore Kansas’ 11 byways and experience our state’s history and scenic beauty with Byways of Kansas. Start planning by visiting www.ksbyways.org to request a copy.

Discover Your Adventure within the pages of KANSAS! magazine. Engaging articles & vibrant images showcase Kansas’ unique history, recreation & landscapes! Receive four seasonal issues and a FREE wall calendar. Subscribe today at www.KansasMag.com.

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KANSAS! magazine is published quarterly and highlights the breathtaking variety of things to do, attractions to visit, dining and lodging opportunities and amazing events for Kansas travelers.

Kansas Wildlife and Parks magazine, published bimonthly, shares stories and photographs about the Kansas outdoors touching on camping, fishing, watching wildlife or hunting. Subscribe to KANSAS! magazine at www.travelks. com/ks-mag/ and to Kansas Wildlife and Parks magazine at www.kansasmag.com.

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Plan your stay with the Official Kansas Travel Guide. This resource offers information on Kansas tourism, with places to eat and stay, and attractions not to be missed. Pick up your free copy at state park offices, Travel Information Centers and community visitors’ centers, or go to www.travelks.com to request a copy or download a digital version.

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KS State Parks

1

map of kansas 27

2 25

161 ST. Francis

A

3

117

DECATUR

Atwood

383

RAWLINS

Goodland

24 27

23

SHERIDAN

GRAHAM

70

THOMAS

TREGO

83

Cedar Bluff

Scott City

SCOTT

LANE

25

83

KEARNY

Ulysses

160

Cimarron

FINNEY

GRANT

190

270 51

56

Elkhart

Hugoton

25

270

STEVENS

51

GRAY

EDWAR

154 54

FORD

Greensb

34

183 KIOWA

98 Meade

160

Meade

54

23

Liberal 83

1

Kinsley

154 283

Sublette HASKELL SEWARD

83

50

56

Dodge City

144

190

MORTON

PAWNEE

Jetmore

23

STANTON

183

HODGEMAN

27

27

283

156

156

50 Garden City

270

51

La Crosse

156

Lakin

270

Ness City

96

NESS

25

50

160

ELLIS RUSH

4

23

Johnson

147

83

WICHITA

HAMILTON

183 70

Dighton

e

Wakeeney

40

Gove

GOVE

Scott

Leoti

Syracuse

We

18

Hays

27

GREELEY

Stockton

Hill City

25

LOGAN

Tribune

36

ROOKS

Sharon Springs

WALLACE

d

283

24

24

Hoxie

383

Oakley

96

PHIL

9

123

25

c

183

Prairie Dog

Colby

SHERMAN

40

383 60

Philipsburg

83

b

283

Norton

36

Oberlin

36 CHEYENNE

Count on the Sunflower State if you love to camp, go RVing or catch a nap in a cabin. Whether it’s an overnighter or an extended stay, you’ll be amazed at the options Kansas state parks offer. From “primitive” tent campsites to utility sites for RVs, there are abundant opportunities for a relaxing outdoor experience. Enjoy fishing, boating, shooting sports, swimming, wildlife-watching and more at the 26 state parks located across the state.

NORTON

83

MEADE

160

Coldwater

Ashland

34

283 CLARK

183

2

3

ksoutdoors.com or reserveamerica.com

Cedar Bluff – B/C3

Crawford – D8

El Dorado – D6

Glen Elder – B5

Kaw River – B7

Cheney – D5

Cross Timbers – D7

Elk City – E7

Hillsdale – C8

Lovewell – A5

Clinton – C8

Eisenhower – C7

Fall River – D7

Kanopolis – C5

Meade – E2

1

COMAN


KS State Parks

4

5

6

7

8 159

LLIPS

281 8

Smith Center

181

ebster Wilson

141

ELLSWORTH

4

Kanopolis

56

19 50

RENO

2 281

8

HARPER

254

El Dorado

54

235

77

15

BUTLER

Wellington

Anthony

179

44

81

35

49

160

166

SUMNER

81

COWLEY

177

160 Winfield

38

ELK CHAUTAUQUA

166

77

47

75

160

MONTGOMERY Coffeyville

15

Arkansas City

6

169

99

Parsons

96

75

Sedan

BOURBON

4

5

7

Milford – B6

Pomona – C7

Sand Hills – D5

Webster – B3

Mushroom Rock – C5

Prairie Dog – A3

Scott – C2

Wilson – B4

Perry – B8

Prairie Spirit Trail - C/D8

Tuttle Creek – B6

7 69

101 166

54

d

Fort Scott

39

7

146 Erie

3 Girard CRAWFORD

NEOSHO

39

Elk City

57

47 37

96

239 31

65

Crawford

169

Independence

15

57 39

96

160

55

49

Fredonia

Howard

3

ALLEN Chanute

39

52

31

54

WILSON

99

Fall River 96

52

Iola

52

7

Mound City

59

ANDERSON

54

c

135

LINN

169

Cross Timbers

68

Paola

169

31 Garnet

57

7

Prairie Spirit Trail

FRANKLIN

Yates Center

Eureka

35W

150

69

68

MIAMI

Burlington COFFEY WOODSON

GREENWOOD

177

196

81

53

Medicine Lodge

281

El Dorado

Newton

42

14

35 CHASE

MARION

Wichita

2

NCHE BARBER

50

Kingman

14

77

LYON

435

Hillsdale

50

75

57

b

Kansas City

Olathe

35 33

Ottawa 268

Emporia

Cottonwood Falls

Marion

HARVEY

96

KINGMAN

160

150

WYANDOTTE

JOHNSON

59

Eisenhower

50

635

Clinton

68

170

57

56

296

17

42

PRATT

56

SEDGWICK

Cheney

54

64

MORRIS

5

24

56

Pomona 31 Lyndon

Leavenworth

32 Lawrence 10

Topeka

OSAGE

31

56

Council Grove 177

16

DOUGLAS

WABAUNSEE

149

15

Hutchinson

61

STAFFORD

burg

96

14

ST. John

61

4

470

4

99

7 92

59 LEAVENOskaloosa WORTH

92

Perry

SHAWNEE

Alma

4

15

61

Sand Hills

43

75

Kaw River

70

GEARY

73 192

4

JACKSON

18

Atchison

4

JEFFERSON

63

177 40 Junction City 57

77

9

Holton 116 ATCHISON

Westmoreland

Manhattan

113

81

Lyons

RICE

Pratt

104

McPHERSON 35W Mc Pherson

19

Abilene

Salina

140

SALINE

Great Bend

82

Milford 18

Mushroom Rock

14

24

A

36

73 159

62

Tuttle Creek

13

177

82

20

9

16

16

24

DONIPHAN

120 Troy 20

159

75

MARSHALL

73

Hiawatha

Seneca

187

POTTAWATOMIE

CLAY DICKINSON

70

156

156

281

OTTAWA

106

Ellsworth

BARTON

RDS

r

Lincoln

LINCOLN

4

Clay Center

87

RILEY

15

Minneapolis

181

RUSSELL

Larned

Concordia

81

MITCHELL

232

281

9

9

14

Russel

96

28

36

7

BROWN

75

63

9

77

CLOUD

Glen Elder

18

Marysville

WASHINGTON

NEMAHA

99

148

Beloit

281

281

Washington

128

24

Osborne

77

15

15

Belleville

36

JEWELL

OSBORNE

81

Lovewell

Mankato

281

9

SMITH

REPUBLIC

14

28

169

LABETTE

160 Pittsburg 126

126

57

103

59 Oswego 59

57

7

69

Columbus 69 CHEROKEE

26

66 66

8

96

166

e

55


2017 Kansas State Parks Guide  

From hiking, biking, paddling or camping you'll find endless outdoor adventure at our 26 state parks.

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