Transition month offers milder weather, uncrowded parks
PRATT -- School has started, and summer is coming to an end, but this doesn't mean that a visit to a Kansas state park is not in order. For many outdoor enthusiasts, this is one of the best times of year for a park visit. The weather has cooled but is still warm enough to enjoy being outdoors, and crowds have thinned as people become absorbed in school activities. Once Labor Day weekend has passed, September is one of the most relaxing times to visit a Kansas state park.

State parks still offer a full list of special events in September, as well. Many of these events are planned in conjunction with Free Park Entrance days, making the prospect of a pre-autumn mini-vacation even more inviting.

Each park sets its own dates for these events, which range from horseback riding to relaxing cookouts, kids events, a Women On Target event, and fishing tournaments. All offer a chance to enjoy the special attributes of Kansas state parks, many of which feature rental cabins, as well as fascinating historical or geological features that enhance the park experience.

For more information on these events, phone individual parks or click the "Event Calendar" on the "State Parks" page of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website, www.kdwp.state.ks.us. Telephone numbers of all state parks offices may be found on the KDWP website. Click "State Parks" at the top of the page, then "Locations" in the left-hand column.

The following is a list of August state park events:

  • Sept. 5-6 — Free Park Entrance Days at Sand Hills State Park;
  • Sept. 6 — Milford Friends Group Buffalo barbecue at Milford State Park;
  • Sept. 11-13 — Saddle Ridge Trail Riders ride at Hillsdale State Park;
  • Sept. 11-13 — McPherson Saddle Club, Ron Bowman Memorial Trail Ride at Kanopolis State Park;
  • Sept. 12-13 — Free Park Entrance Days at Lovewell State Park;
  • Sept. 12 — Catfish Nation fishing tournament at Clinton State Park;
  • Sept. 12 — Kansas Best of Bass Team fishing tournament at Hillsdale State Park;
  • Sept. 12 — Women on Target shooting event at Tuttle Creek State Park Fancy Creek Range;
  • Sept. 13 — chili cookoff at Lovewell State Park;
  • Sept. 19 — Free Park Entrance Day at Crawford State Park;
  • Sept. 20 — Twin Rivers Bass Club fishing tournament at Hillsdale State Park;
  • Sept. 25-27 — Critter Care trail ride at Perry State Park;
  • Sept. 26 — Free Park Entrance Day, Fall River Rendezvous at Fall River State Park;
  • Sept. 26-27 — Heartland Coursing Association dog field trials at Clinton State Park; and
  • Sept. 26 — Fall River Rendezvous at Fall River State Park.