De Soto to Edwardsville float on the Kansas River offers unique outdoor experience

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and Friends of the Kaw are co-sponsoring a float trip on the Kansas River Saturday, Oct. 14.

Participants in the float from De Soto to Edwardsville will meet at 8 a.m. at the boat ramp at Woodend Road and 9th Street in Edwardsville. All participants will be shuttled from Edwardsville to the De Soto boat ramp, where the float will begin, after a safety talk and instructions. Lunch will be provided halfway through the trip, but participants will need to provide their own drinking water or non-alcoholic drinks. The float trip should be completed by 3 p.m.

Anyone interested in joining the float should contact Erika Nighswonger at 620-672-5911, extension 170, by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10. A registration form, available below, may be completed and faxed to Nighswonger at 620-672-6020.

A limited number of canoes and kayaks will be available to rent, or participants may bring their own equipment. Float sponsors advise participants to bring snacks, drinking water, sunscreen, hand cleaner, dry clothing, and any other appropriate gear for the day.

The Kansas River is a recreational treasure and has been a well-kept secret among a few paddlers and anglers, but it is fast becoming a valued recreational resource for thousands of visitors each year. The "Kaw" is one of three public rivers in Kansas that is open to the public for fishing and boating, but permission must be obtained to cross private ground to gain access to the river except at developed public access sites. KDWP has worked with Friends of the Kaw and local communities along the Kansas River to develop more public access points for public recreation.

Locations of new access ramps to the Kansas River include the following:

  • Rising Sun (Perry/Lecompton) Access on the northwest side of the Lecompton Bridge over the Kansas River on Lecompton Road south of U.S. Highway 24;
  • De Soto Access located northwest of downtown De Soto. Take the Lexington Avenue exit from K-10 and go north. Turn north on Ottawa Street. Go over two railroad tracks to the city park entrance two blocks on the right;
  • Edwardsville Access located southwest of the corner of Woodend Road and 9th St. in Edwardsville. Take the Woodend Road exit from I-435 north of the Kansas River and go west several miles to the access park; and
  • Manhattan Access located under the Highway 177 Bridge on the southeast edge of Manhattan.