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3. BAKER WETLANDS AND DISCOVERY CENTER 1365 N. 1250 Road, Lawrence Stargazers, bird watchers and joggers/walkers/hikers flock to the 927-acre natural habitat on the southern edge of Lawrence. More than 278 species of birds, 98 other vertebrate species and 487 plant species have been identified at the wetlands. The habitat features more than 11 miles of trails. Dogs on leashes and photo-taking are OK; no boating or fishing is allowed. Hours: Trails open dawn to dusk Cost: Free Information: bakeru.edu/wetlands; (785) 594-4700

4. BANNER CREEK RESERVOIR 10975 K-16 highway, Holton The 535-acre reservoir is known for its boating, skiing, camping, fishing, hunting and trapping activities. The reservoir on the southwestern edge of Holton also attracts birdwatchers — more than 25 species of birds have been seen there — and those who enjoy walking, jogging or bicycling the trail, which is made of recycled fly-ash and winds through wooded coves, native grassland, wildflower plots, hay meadows and other areas. Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in-season Cost: $3 daily for vehicle entrance; additional fees for boating, water craft, fishing and camping Information: bannerreservoir.com; (785) 364-4236

5. BLUE RIVER RAIL TRAIL 900 Jayhawk Road, Marysville The Blue River Rail Trail stretches about 13 miles, from Marysville to the Nebraska border. At the state line, the rail trail continues north through Beatrice and Lincoln, Neb., joining the extensive Great Plains Trails Network. The crushed limestone on the trail provides a smooth surface for walking, jogging, biking and cross-country skiing. The retired railroad bed splits the Big Blue River on the west and is bordered on the east by limestone outcroppings, grass-covered bluffs and open farmland. An abundance of wildlife, plant life and bird species live along the trail. Hours: Sunrise to sunset Cost: Free Information: blueriverrailtrail.org

6. BROWN COUNTY AGRICULTURE MUSEUM AND WINDMILL LANE 301 E. Iowa, Hiawatha The Brown County Ag Museum resembles a 1900 farmstead, with a farm house, wash house, blacksmith and woodworking shops, milk barn, hen house, corn crib and other buildings. Other highlights are Windmill Lane, with more than 40 windmills, a train caboose, surreys, antique cars and old tractors and gas engines. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and by appointment on Saturday, May through October Cost: $5 for age 13 and older; $2.50 for ages 5-12 Information: bit.ly/CJagmuseum; (785) 742-3702

7. CARROLL MANSION 1128 5th Ave., Leavenworth Owned and operated as a museum by the Leavenworth County Historical Society, the Carroll Mansion was once the home to four different prominent Leavenworth families. The 1880s mansion features seven original mirrors; five ornate and unique fireplaces; hand-carved woodwork; elaborate stained-glass windows; and antiques from the Gilded Age, 1880–1900. Exhibits focus on Leavenworth County history and World War I soldiers. The grounds features a memorial rose garden and herb/heirloom garden. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; last tour at 3 p.m. Cost: $6; free for age 5 and under Information: leavenworthhistory.org; (913) 682-7759

LEFT: 3. Baker Wetlands and Discovery Center ABOVE: 4. Banner Creek Reservoir [SUBMITTED PHOTOS]

8. CELEBRATE FREEDOM Various sites, Wamego A full day of fun activities on July 4 culminates with the No. 1-rated fireworks show in Kansas at 10 p.m. at the Wamego Recreational Complex. Other highlights are the Independence Day Parade at 6 p.m.; Kaw Valley Antique Engine, Truck and Tractor Club Show; Walter P. Chrysler Car Show; Hot Wheels races; ice cream and cake social; pork sandwich and homemade pie dinner; beer and wine garden; and screenings of “Boomtown USA.” Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 4 Cost: Free Information: wamegofireworks.com; (785) 456-7849

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50 Reasons to Hit the Road 2018  

Find new and exciting places to visit in Northeast Kansas and beyond in our 2018 travel special section.

50 Reasons to Hit the Road 2018  

Find new and exciting places to visit in Northeast Kansas and beyond in our 2018 travel special section.

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