Fun outdoor places in Kansas

Bike, walking trail in Wichita celebrates city’s African American history
Bike, walking trail in Wichita celebrates city’s African American history
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:16 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Here are some other fun outdoor places you can take your kids this summer.

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

You can head to the Flint Hills region of the state to see the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. It’s located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Strong City and has nearly 11,000 acres of Mother Nature’s wide-open spaces. Beautiful vistas, wildflowers, wildlife, bison herd, a historic ranch and one-room school with limestone buildings, and plenty of solitude.

The prairie is open year-round 24/7, except during times of prescribed fire. The hiking trails consist of old gravel ranch roads and mowed paths.

It’s a good idea to wear clothing and footwear you don’t mind getting dirty and use insect repellent.

Red Bud Trail

If you like biking and walking, check out the Red Bud Trail.

It’s a biking and walking trail in northeast Wichita, along the former BNSF Railroad that runs from about I-135 at east Murdock Street to Oliver at east 17th Street and on into Andover.

Wichita’s Black history is showcased along the trail at 17th & Oliver, 8th and Hillside and 13th and Roosevelt.  Some of the trail is paved and some is gravel.

The Gypsum Hills

You might want to check out The Gypsum Hills, also known as the Gyp Hills, Red Hills & Medicine Hills.

It’s a region of rolling hills, mesas, canyons and buttes in central Kansas, just north of the Oklahoma border.

The area has many red cedar trees and the ground contains iron oxide or rust -- that’s how it got the Red Hills name.

The area was Medicine Hills to the Native Americans, and the stream that passes through the area and near the community of Medicine Lodge is the Medicine River.

The area has also been called Cimarron Breaks.

McPherson State Fishing Lake

If your family likes to fish, check out McPherson State Fishing Lake. You can fish for bass, catfish and panfish.

Your family can enjoy basic camping and day-use facilities including a nature trail, picnic tables, grills, and piers.

You may have to pay a fee or make a reservation for some picnic and camping spots.

Electrical hookups or portable water is not available. Public restrooms are available on site.

Cowley County Lake Waterfall

If you want to see a spectacular Kansas waterfall without traveling very far, you can check out the Cowley County Lake Waterfall. It’s only about an hour away from Wichita.

In 2014, Yahoo Travel named the Cowley County Waterfall in the Top 12 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in America.

It’s located west of Dexter at 20467 US Hwy 166 at the Cowley State Fishing Lake.

The waterfall can be seen at the far north-west side of the lake property.

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