Cabins, reduced prices, uncrowded conditions make parks attractive in fall and winter
PRATT — Kansas is well into autumn, and for many outdoorsmen and women, this is the best time of year to visit a Kansas state park. Hunters and anglers — and even campers looking for a cool-season adventure — take advantage of the off-season (Oct. 10-March 31) in Kansas state parks, enjoying cool weather and especially lower off-season prices.

Hunters and anglers probably use parks more than other visitors during the off-season, and the growing number of cabins in parks makes stays more inviting — and comfortable. Many cabins provide all the amenities of home and proximity to popular outdoor activities. Cabin rental fees vary depending on size, days of the week, and time of year.

Standard off-season state park permit fees are as follow:

  • Daily Vehicle permit — $3.70 (senior/disabled, $2.60);
  • Annual Vehicle permit — $19.70 (senior/disabled, $11.10);
  • Additional Annual Vehicle permit — $12.20 (senior/disabled, $7.35);
  • Daily Camping permit — $7.50; and
  • 14-Day Camping permit — $87.50.

Costs listed include applicable service fees, except an online purchase convenience fee. Annual permits purchased in either the off-season or the prime season are valid for the remainder of the calendar year. 2011 permits go on sale Dec. 15, 2010.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) Parks Division operates a system of 27 parks, including the Prairie Spirit Trail. In addition to cabins, most state parks provide utilities and primitive camping and are located adjacent to lakes or reservoirs. Utility fees remain unchanged although some camping fees are less expensive if purchased in the off-season.

In addition to camping facilities, parks offer boat ramps, courtesy docks, shelter houses, trails, and a variety of other amenities. More information on state park fees is available under “Parks” at the KDWP website,