Leggy fawns try their first steps in Kansas's fields and waves lap the shores of its lakes. Your little ones will be awed by the variety of outdoor activities that Kansas presents. Eye-opening archaeological finds and spectacular wildlife preserves are just around the corner:
Close to Fort Scott and the Frontier Military Historic Byway, this State Park has two intriguing archaeological sites to its name, plus an 150-acre lake. Discover a 19th century military building and follow the nature trail to Farlington fish hatchery. Be sure to arrange your tour ahead of time, and don't forget you can scuba dive in the crystal lake.
Named for Kansas-born former President Eisenhower, this 1,800-acre park plays host to a gamut of outdoor games and entertainment. Follow an archery trail, scoot through an assault course, horseback ride through 22 miles of equestrian trails, or fish at the kids' fishing pond or on Melvern Lake. White bass, walleye, and catfish leap from its waters. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles and wild turkey as you hike through prairie land.
Almost a thousand acres of prairie and savannah parkland is threaded by the Fall River, which makes the perfect venue foe canoeing trips. Venture out onto the 3,000-acre Fall Reservoir to fish with your family, or take the kids to look for wildlife in the adjoining preserve. Dove, deer, rabbit, and waterfowl are prevalent in the low-lying grassland.
Here are the trails to take to spot Kansas's most mesmerizing wildlife, stunning vistas, and glittering lakes. Make sure you don't miss:
Hike the Elk River Trail along rocky outcrops clothed in velvet carpets of moss, beneath stunning formations, and through whispering woodland. Explore trails overlooking the glittering lake and scale ledges to superb views in this scenic State Park.
Strike gold in a State Park as rich in wildlife as it is in heritage. Hiking, biking, and horse trails run through 2,000 acres of parkland, where you can unearth abandoned railroads. Wildlife fans will want to hike the 4,000 acre wildlife preserve too, where songbirds warble and white tailed deer flee silently at your approach. Swim and fish from 98 miles of shoreline, or take a boat our on the vast 8,000-acre lake.
With one of the largest marinas in the state, Clinton also welcomes walkers with 25 miles of hiking and biking trails, plus a five mile cross country ski loop come winter. Don't miss the mile-long nature trail, or the stunning shoreline hike, best enjoyed as the sun sets over the water, after a refreshing afternoon swim. Keen bikers can test their mettle at the mountain bike skills course, and golfers at the 11 hole course adjoining the park.
Whether your passion is for watersports or horseback riding, Kansas's Edenic outdoors has you covered. Here are some of the best State Parks for adventure junkies:
Bald eagles glide over the Clinton Reservoir, which gleams like a diamond set into the 1,500-acre park and a thousand-acre wildlife area. Swimming at the lake is popular, as are water skiing and boating. Wildlife watching is rewarding too. Look for deer, wild turkey, and waterfowl in these stunning wetlands.
Explore a hundred miles of shoreline at Tuttle Creek, which has five distinct zones to explore. Wander to the River Pond, Rocky Ford, hike Cedar Ridge, and follow Fancy Creek to Randolph. Several nature trails join a mountain bike trail and stunning equestrian trail. Picnic areas are provided at intervals, and even the laziest fisherman will find saugeye and flathead in the 12,500-acre reservoir.
At a 'mere' thousand acres, Milford might not be the largest of Kansas's State Parks, but it provides active visitors with every conceivable kind of entertainment. From sailing, jet skiing, and swimming on the lake and reservoir to biking, hiking, and horseback riding around their perimeters, from volleyball to wildlife watching, you can even play golf in the immediate vicinity of the park.