Labor Day marks the end of camping season for many, but don’t stop yet. Kansas outdoors enthusiasts who venture out now can see the year’s best color while enjoying mild weather. And Kansas state parks continue to provide opportunities of special interest for those who visit public lands.
Todd Lovin, Tuttle Creek State Park Manager, reminds football fans that Tuttle Creek State Park is a great place to camp with quick access to K-State home football games. Motel rooms can be hard to find on game weekends, even in outlying cities. Located just a few miles from the stadium, the state park offers a nifty alternative, especially with the new online reservation system that allows one to check availability and reserve a place for desired dates. KU fans have the same opportunity at Clinton State Park near Lawrence.
Fall River State Park southeast of Eureka hosts its annual Fall River Rendezvous on September 29, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Fredonia Bay Area. This event is a living history encampment of Mountain Men and American Indians from the early 1800s era. Demonstrations include blacksmithing, flint knapping, Dutch oven cooking, weaving, black powder shooting, tomahawk throwing, and archery. The event also celebrates National Public Lands Day and allows free entrance to Fall River State Park. Events are planned for all ages. Call the park office at 620-637-2213 for more information.
Meade State Park and its friends group will host the Second Annual Car and Bike Show, Saturday, Sept. 29, 9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m., in the parking lot of the Meade Lake Visitor Center. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., with a $25 fee for the first vehicle and $10 for additional entries. Registration fees include a park permit, one meal ticket, a dashboard plaque, and a T-shirt.
Awards for antique and modern cars and bikes will be awarded for Best of Show, People’s Choice, and Longest Distance for participation. Friends of Meade State Park will also present a Friend’s Choice cash award, with the winning car and bike used in advertising for next year’s show.
All spectators will have free park entrance for this event. A meal will be provided at the cost of $7 for exhibitors and $8 for spectators. For more information call the park office at 620-873-2572.
A Hillsdale Lake National Public Lands Day-Fish Habitat Project is scheduled on Sept. 28-29 near Hillsdale State Park north of Paola. Volunteers are needed to assist with anchoring trees and placing brush in shoreline zones that are critical fish habitat. Low lake levels provide an ideal time for this construction, which should improve fishing at Hillsdale Lake. Call Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Jim Bell at 913-783-4366 for more information.
Milford State Park will host its annual “Monster Myths By Moonlight” on October 13 at the Milford State Park office from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This popular event, themed for Halloween, features a hayrack ride, a trail walk with various live animal presentations, and park staff dressed in costumes. Refreshments are served. The event draws up to 1,000 people annually and is sponsored by Milford Nature Center, Milford State Park, and the Milford State Park Friends Group.
Event admission is free, though a state park vehicle permit is necessary to enter the park. Youngsters are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes. For more information, call the state park office at 785-238-3014.
Rounding out the fall season, Kanopolis State Park hosts its 33rd Prairie Long Rifles Fall Rendezvous, October 28 at Mulberry Campground. Admission to the event is free, but a vehicle entrance permit is required to enter the park. Camping and shooting events are planned. Merchants and craftsmen in character will display skills, and share goods for sale or barter. Information is available at www.prairielongrifles.com Also at Kanopolis, a North American Trail Ride Conference competitive trail ride will be held October 26- October 29, at Rockin’K Campground, Multi-Use Trails and Rockin’K Shelter. For more information, visit online at www.natrc.org.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism