Cabins, reduced prices, uncrowded conditions make parks attractive in fall and winter

Summer is over, but for many outdoorsmen and women, that doesn't mean the end of Kansas state park visitation. Many hunters and anglers -- and even campers looking for a cool-season adventure -- take advantage of the "off-season" in Kansas state parks. Lower prices during the off-season -- Oct. 1-March 31 -- make trips even more attractive.

Hunters and anglers probably use parks more than other visitors, and the growing number of cabins in parks makes stays more inviting. 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 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. 2009 permits go on sale Dec. 15.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' (KDWP) Parks Division operates a system of 25 parks and the Prairie Spirit Rail-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 cheaper 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. Parks also host numerous special events, such as concerts and festivals, throughout the year.