Outdoor Adventurer Story Starters

NATURAL AND UNTOUCHED

In a few special places, the Kansas landscape is much the same as it once was - largely natural and untouched. Visitors wanting to experience natural Kansas can walk through wildflowers in prairies undisturbed by civilization, view wildlife in their natural environments, or discover some of the best geological finds in the world. Regardless of the season or interest, the wild beauty of Kansas offers wonderful travel opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Two magnificent options: visitors can see most of America's remaining virgin prairie at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the heart of the Flint Hills. And in south central Kansas, the Gypsum Hills (or Red Hills) feature flat mesas, deep canyons, sharp high hills, and red soils.

DIG THE ACCOMODATIONS

If you love to camp, go RVing or catch a nap in a cabin, Kansas state parks offer year-round options - from primitive tent campsites and utility sites for RVs to heated and air-conditioned cabins. Before you plan your next campout, check out the campsite and cabin reservation options.

TEE IT UP

Got an itch to play one of the top 25 courses in America? There's no need to buy an airline ticket. Kansas boasts great golf courses. Some, like Hutchinson's Prairie Dunes Country Club, are known around the world, while others are hidden gems. Any avid Kansas golfer can rattle off a dozen challenging and beautiful courses. Throw your sticks in the trunk and call your golf buddies.

GET OUT ON THE WATER

It's a bit of an open secret that once the waters get warm, Kansas offers lots of great fun. Lovers of many different watersports can be found every year enjoying Kansas' more than 150 lakes, 10,000 miles of streams, and 55,000 ponds. Most of the lakes offer public access facilities and excellent opportunities for anglers, swimmers, skiers, sailors, power boaters, paddlers and others.

KANSAS RIVER TRAIL

The Kansas River is one of the world's longest prairie rivers, providing fun recreational opportunities and a home for lots of wildlife, as well as drinking water, irrigation and electricity for many communities. Traveling the Kansas River Trail is a great way to explore the unique beauty of eastern Kansas from a new perspective - the river itself! Get up close and personal with the birds and other wildlife along the river, find peaceful solitude or challenge yourself on some of the more adventurous parts of the river.

FLINT HILLS NATURE TRAIL

The Flint Hills Nature Trail is the seventh longest rail-trail in America. The 117-mile east-west biking, hiking and horse trail links five east-central Kansas counties and dozens of towns between Osawatomie and Herington. It follows the general route of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail and is part of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail. As the name suggests, the trail crosses the beautiful Flint Hills, one of the world's last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystems.The Flint Hills Trail is free to the public and open to non-motorized vehicles and horses, sunrise to sunset, year-round. The trail has more than a dozen trail heads and other access points, some with nearby parking, camping/lodging and other trail-friendly services. Parts of the trail are still under construction, which is due to be completed in fall 2016.