April marks beginning of park season
PRATT — Kansas state park visitation in 2009 was up 700,000 from the previous year, and state park staff are preparing for another banner year. The current recession may be one explanation for the trend in visitation as people vacation closer to home when money is tight. Whatever the cause, park staff plan to enhance the Kansas state park experience with a variety of special events throughout the state in 2010. Some events are in conjunction with Free Park Entrance Days, some celebrate a special historical event or geological attribute of an individual park, and others are just for entertainment. Each park sets its own dates for these events.

Events are diverse and may include anything from a marathon race to boating courses and equestrian events. Many are educational, and all make visiting Kansas state parks more enjoyable. For more information on state park 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. Cabin rental reservations may also be made online.

Park goers are urged to phone the park they intend to visit before traveling. 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. A short conversation with local park staff will provide information on campsite availability, park conditions, current visitation rates, and answers to other questions. Campsite reservations may also be made by phone.

The following is a list of events for April:

  • April 1-2 —Tuttle Creek State Park youth/ADA assisted spring turkey Hunt;
  • April 3 —Kanopolis State Park Kansas UltraRunners 11th Annual Rockin' K Trail 50-mile trail run & trail marathon;
  • April 10 — Hillsdale State Park Eastern Kansas Beagle Club field trial;
  • April 11 — El Dorado State Park America Bass Anglers bass tournament;
  • April 17 — Eisenhower State Park Bait Hut Crappie and Walleye Tournament;
  • April 18 — Eisenhower State Park Twin Rivers Bass Club bass tournament;
  • April 22 — Cross Timbers State Park Earth Day, OK Kids Day;
  • April 24-25 — Kanopolis State Park Free Park Entrance Days; and
  • April 24 — Eisenhower State Park Kansas Best of Bass team bass tournament.