Kansas State Parks

Visiting These Wonderful State Parks Is One Of The Top Attractions In Kansas

There are 26 Kansas state parks and they are located in some of the finest parts of this rolling mid-west state. The history of Kansas is long and extremely interesting.

For thousands of years the area was home to tribes of Native Americans. Indeed the name of the state is believed to have come from the Kansa tribe, their name is supposed to mean "people of the south wind."

The first European to have set foot in what is now Kansas is thought to have been Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541. He was a Spanish conquistador who explored America from his base in Mexico.

The region we now know as the state of Kansas was bought from France by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The renowned Sante Fe Trail crossed the state on its route between Missouri and New Mexico. The heyday for this famous trail was from 1821 to 1880, yet the ruts from the wagon wheels are still visible on the rolling prairie.

Typical Kansas Field

The first permanent white settlement in Kansas was Fort Leavenworth in 1827. The settlers slowly bagan to drift into the state in the 1830`s but it was during the 1850`s that events really began to take shape in Kansas. It quickly became a place of much violence as the two sides in the slavery issue tried to gain the upper hand. At one stage it was known as "Bleeding Kansas" because of the violent clashes and the killings.

On January 29th 1861 Kansas became the 34th state to join the Union. The fighting between the two rival factions had been won by the Abolitionists, so it was a slave-free state.

After the bloody American Civil War came to an end immigrants flooded into Kansas as they looked for good land to start their farms.

Today Kansas has a population of around three million people and is one of the most productive states for agriculture in the whole of the U.S.

Beautiful Kansas Sunset

Sometimes described as being "flatter than a pancake" the state actually rises gradually from east to west and its highest point, Mount Sunflower (4,039 feet) is only half a mile from the border with Colorado to the west.

The Kansas State Parks come in all shapes and sizes and in every part of the state. They are packed with amazing sights and wonderful things to do and enjoy.

For example there cannot be many parks that have a thriving prairie dog population but there is one at the Prairie Dog State Park near Norton, KS. Although only five acres in size the incredible rock formations at Mushroom Rock State park must be absolutely unique and well worth visiting.

Kansas is a totally land-locked state and many hard working citizens never get the pleasure of a trip to the coast so it is not surprising that many of the Kansas State Parks are located on lakes and reservoirs. If they can`t get to the coast at least they can still enjoy sitting on a beach beside a beautiful stretch of water.

So places like Milford State Park, on the 16,000 acre Milford reservoir near Junction City, and Pomona State Park near Topeka are always extremely popular with visitors.

The body responsible for all the Kansas State Parks are the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and they can be contacted at the following address. -

KDWPT Operations Office
512 SE 25th Ave.
KS 67124

Phone - (620) 672-5911(For licensing/permit questions call (620) 672-5911 and ask for licensing section.

For any other questions here is a link to their website

Here are the Kansas State Parks -

  • Lovewell State Park
  • Meade State Park
  • Milford State Park
  • Mushroom Rock State Park
  • Perry State Park
  • Pomona State Park
  • Prairie Dog State Park
  • Prairie Spirit Trail State Park
  • Sand Hills State Park
  • Scott State Park
  • Tuttle Creek State Park
  • Webster State Park
  • Wilson State Park

kansas county map

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