Outdoor Basecamp

Scott State Park

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May
28

Scott State Park located long Lake Scott in beautiful Ladder Creek Canyon is one of Kansas’ biggest tourist attractions. It is listed in the National Geographic Traveler as being among the top fifty state parks in the entire United States of America. Being so close to the waterways, this makes the park a popular destination for tourists and fishermen alike. It can be reached by car quite easily. From U.S. 83, visitors can travel approximately 10 miles north to the junction with K-95 which should be taken, and where the park is located 3 miles north.

There are a great variety of things to see and do here, as the area is home to many different species of flora and fauna indigenous to the landscape. The park is approximately 1120 acres in size, carved out of a canyon over the years by the Ladder Creek. For wildlife observers, this is one of the top 50 favorite natural sites in the country. The sparkling waters of Big Springs and Barrel Springs have provided the life giving liquid to the ecosystem existing here for well over 1000 years. The cool water flows at an astounding rate of 400 gallons per minute and is home to Rainbow Trout which was introduced to the area a while back.

Prairie Dog State Park

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May
28

The Prairie Dog State Park is one of Kansas’ most unique parks. While most of the nation’s state parks involve hills or mountains, this park’s main feature is a small rodent. Prairie dogs are similar to chipmunks and use a network of holes to burrow in. One of the largest and most heavily-populated prairie dog fields is located just a few miles past the park’s entrance. The main entrance is located along Highway 261, about four miles west of the town of Norton. It is difficult to miss the entrance, as it is marked with a large sign and enormous stone prairie dog statue.

After entering the park via the main entrance, the office will be seen within minutes, located on the left side of the road. Be sure to stop in the office and pick up a park permit. Located next to the main office of the park are two interesting historical structures – an old adobe house and a one-room schoolhouse. Built in the late 1890s, the adobe house was constructed on the site where it stands; it is the last remaining old adobe house in the state of Kansas. The schoolhouse was relocated from another site.

Sand Hills State Park

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May
28

You wouldn’t think that you could see sand dunes in Kansas, but when you enter Sand Hills State Park, just a few miles north of Hutchinson, Kansas, you will see dunes up to 40 feet high and more sand than you can find in some deserts. The park is a sand prairie at the north edge of the Hutchinson Dune Tract exhibiting shades of yellow, red, green, lavender and gray. At the end of the Ice Age, wind deposited sand from the Arkansas River at the site, and the sand prairie grass roots stabilized it, creating the sand dunes for which the park is famous.

Sand Hills State Park is Kansas’ 22nd State Park, established in 1974 with the acquisition of 640 acres of land from the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory in Hutchinson. A donation from the Dillon Family of Hutchinson added 320 acres that were adjacent to the park. Federal Land and Water Funds allowed the Park and Resources Authority to acquire an additional 163 adjacent acres to give the park a total of 1,123 acres. The park is located at 207 E. 56th, Hutchinson, KS. To reach the park, take K-61 highway north out of Hutchinson, and turn east on either 56th street or 69th street. The south parking lot on 56th street is less than ½ mile from K-61, and there are two parking lots on 69th street. The letter “H” on a gate signifies access for horses. There is a small parking fee at the park, but the charge is lower during the off-season, and seniors get a discount all year.

Lovewell State Park

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May
28

Lovewell State Park is located in the northern part of Kansas near Webber in Jewell County. To reach the park from Mankato, drive 4 miles east, turn north, go 9 miles in that direction, and then head back east for 4 miles. The 1160-acre park is next to the large Lovewell Reservoir, so boating and swimming are two of the main activities there. The park was established in 1967 and provides a full service marina, modern restrooms and showers, a swimming beach and either primitive camping, utility camping or camping cabins. You must purchase a vehicle permit to enter the park. The park’s address is: 2446 250 Road, Webber, KS, 66970, and for Geocaching enthusiasts, the GPS is: N39 54.359 W098 02.545.

Lovewell State Park is an excellent vacation destination for a family or group of people with differing tastes because there are many various activities to enjoy as well as opportunities for peace and quiet. When someone wants to just get away and relax in comfort with a good book, one of the 6 heated cabins makes a perfect campsite. The cabins made of native cedar and cottonwood have central heat and air conditioning for comfort in any kind of weather, and each one can accommodate up to 10 people. The lighting in the cabins is good, and they have plenty of electrical outlets. The cabins do not have refrigerators or microwaves, so bring a portable cook stove and a cooler with ice. You will also need to bring sleeping bags to use on the beds, and the toilet facilities are port-a-potties just outside the cabins. The large rustic tables in the cabins can seat up to 10 people, and there are fire rings and picnic tables to use when you want to eat outside.

Perry State Park

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May
28

Introduction and Activities

The Kansas Perry State Park is one of the more interesting parks in the state of Kansas. It was created in 1968 after the Kansas Parks and Resources department signed a lease agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. You can reach it by traveling to the southwest part of Perry Reservoir. It is about 4 miles to the north of Highway 24 if you are traveling on Highway 237. When you get to the park, you can take advantage of a rich set of features and activities as well as the natural geographic landscape.

For example, there is a sand beach present at the park, at least five separate shower buildings, two ramps for boating, trails that allow people to hike, mountain bike, and ride horses, and areas for having picnics. If you are in the mood for camping, you will also be happy when you get to the Perry state park, as there are 4campgrounds with utilities set up, which means there are at least 102 sites where you can gain access to water and electricity hookups. If you are in the mood for a more rural experience, you can take advantage of one of the more than 200 sites at the 7 primitive campgrounds in the park.

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