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The 5 Best State Parks in Kansas

Here's what you need to know...
  • Kansas is home to 26 beautiful state parks, but some are more popular with locals and visitors than others
  • Ensure that your vehicle is properly maintained and outfitted with safety and first aid items before you venture out on a road trip
  • Verify that your auto insurance policy complies with the state’s minimum car insurance requirements, but also consider the benefits associated with buying more coverage than what is required

While Kansas is largely known for having flat prairies and ample farmland, there are many stunningly beautiful natural areas located across the state that each can provide you with a different outdoor experience.

From camping and hiking to boating, cycling, and more, there is plenty to do at each of the 26 state parks in Kansas.

Because each state park can provide you with a unique outdoor experience, you may want to spend ample time driving throughout the state enjoying all that the top parks offer.

Remember that wildlife, weather conditions, and even road conditions can be hazardous while you are traveling in your car and while you are outdoors at state parks. Plan ahead for the time you intend to spend on the road and outdoors so that you can more fully enjoy your trip.

If you’re looking to vacation in Kansas soon and want to be fully covered, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today!

The 5 Best State Parks in Kansas

While there are 26 state parks in Kansas, you may not have time available to visit every park on an upcoming trip.

If you are looking for a list of the top state parks that may provide you with a truly exceptional outdoor experience, take a closer look at what these five state parks can provide to you.

#5 — Lake Scott State Park

Area: 1,280 acres
Established: 1928
Highlight: Lake Scott and an Indian pueblo

A trip to Lake Scott State Park in the western region of the state can be thrilling as well as educational. Many visitors enjoy water recreation at Lake Scott, including canoeing, fishing, and even swimming at a beach.

While hunting is only possible in a preserved area just outside the park, wildlife viewing is a favorite pastime inside the state park.

Notably, the El Cuartelejo Pueblo ruins are located inside the park and are available for you to tour. Visiting these ruins is an exceptional way for you and your loved ones to learn more about the Native American history in Kansas.

On-site tent camping and cabin rentals are available at Lake Scott State Park. The daily entrance fee is $6 per vehicle, and camping rates vary seasonally.

#4 — Wyandotte County Lake Park

Area: 1,500 acres
Established: Unknown
Highlight: Trail running and disc golf around the lake

The 1,500 acre Wyandotte Count Lake Park features a 400-acre lake right in the heart of the space.

Campgrounds, running and hiking trails, and disc golf areas are located around the perimeter of the lake. The trail that runs around the perimeter of the lake is 8.85 miles long.

The park also boasts horseback riding areas and pontoon boat rentals on-site.

Tent camping is available at Wyandotte County Lake Park, and advanced reservations are recommended. This park’s daily use fee is $6 per vehicle, and other overnight fees apply if you are camping.

#3 — Kanopolis Lake State Park

Area: 12,500 acres
Established: 1928
Highlight: A beautiful reservoir and prairie lands, Faris Caves

Kanopolis Lake State Park sits squarely in the heart of the state and spans across more than 12,500 acres, including more than 30 miles of hiking trails and a 3,500-acre lake reservoir.

The reservoir is a popular place for fishing for crappie and white bass, and hunting is available seasonally. Common game in the area includes:

  • Rabbits
  • Deer
  • Prairie chickens
  • Quail
  • Wild turkey, and others

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If you plan to visit Kanopolis Lake State Park, consider reserving a campsite for tent or RV camping. You may also want to explore Fairs Caves, which were carved out by earlier settlers.

The daily use fee for this park is $6 per vehicle, and additional fees are required for an overnight stay.

#2– Tuttle Creek State Park

Area: 1,200 acres
Established: Unknown
Highlight: Natural trails, an archery area

Tuttle Creek State Park is a 1,200-acre natural area that is located just outside of Manhattan, making it easy for many locals to enjoy the park’s lake and hiking trails.

Many who visit this state park also enjoy horse-back riding, camping, and archery on-site, and there is also a man-made beach located on the lake, which provides you with a great place to cool off on hot summer days.

Each summer, the Country Stampede Music Festival is located in this park.

If you plan to visit this state park, keep in mind that the daily entrance fee is $6 for each vehicle. You may also have to pay additional fees if you plan to camp in a tent, cabin, or RV at the park.

#1 — Clinton State Park

Area: 1,500 acres
Established: 1975
Highlight: Clinton Lake, the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival

Situated in northeastern Kansas close to Lawrence, Clinton State Park hosts a few large annual events that bring numerous visitors to the area, like the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival and the Ironman Kansas Triathlon.

The park is located next to a much larger protected wildlife area, and these two areas combined provide you with an incredible range of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy, such as:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Disc golfing, and more

This park boasts 383 campsites and six cabins available for rent year-round. There are also day-use picnic areas and a marina on-site. The park’s daily use vehicle fee is $6, and you can expect to pay an additional overnight fee if you are camping.

Driving Safely in State Parks

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These top state parks in Kansas are located in all sections of the state, so you can reasonably expect to travel significantly throughout the area while visiting the top parks.

Kansas is well-known as being located in the heart of Tornado Alley, and you should be prepared for severe storms to arise quickly when driving through the state.

Be aware that Kansas requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of liability auto insurance.

This type of auto coverage offers financial benefits for other parties when you cause damages, but you will need to purchase comprehensive coverage as well if you want coverage to pay for your vehicle’s damage and repairs related to:

It is wise to review your car insurance policy every six months. You should request three to four quotes regularly to verify that you have the right coverage for your needs. This may also prevent you from overpaying for your coverage.

– What to Watch For

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You may run across numerous dangers while you are driving throughout the state. If you want to be as safe as possible, you should keep your eyes open for:

  • Cyclists, runners, and hikers
  • Wild animals
  • Fallen debris
  • Unsafe roads

– Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

You should also store an emergency kit in your car. This kit could provide you with all of the supplies, food, and more that you may need if you get stranded on the side of the road. Your emergency kit may include:

If you want to safeguard your car before visiting Kansas, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!

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