Kansas has a reputation for being nothing but flat fields as far as the eye can see, but if that’s what you think you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise to find that Kansas offers some amazing camping getaways, whether you want to hike or bike, boat or fish, or merely admire all of nature’s flora and fauna. You'll find there’s quite a lot to do in Kansas.
Look at the fishing records alone: a striped bass was caught at Wilson Reservoir weighing 44 pounds, while another angler pulled a 29-inch walleye out of that same lake. Crappie as long as 22 inches have been found in Woodson State Fishing Lake, and just look at the enormous channel catfish: one 10 pounder taken from the Missouri River in 2012, and the granddaddy of them all, a Bullhead Catfish from Farm Pond weighed in at 123 pounds and 61 inches. Camp at any one of these places, cast in your line, or troll from a boat, and see what you can reel in.
And if it’s hunting season, licensed campers can go after antelope, deer and elk, or doves, ducks, geese and wild turkeys. There’s licenses for furbearers, too, including badger, beaver, bobcat, coyote, fox, otter, raccoon and opossum.
If you just want to camp and commune with nature, enjoy the serenity to be found in the Little Jerusalem Badlands with 100-foot-tall spires and cliffs of chalk leftover from an 85 million-year-old seafloor. There, sharp-eyed campers will be able to spot lizards, bats, toads, snakes, and small mammals. Make an expedition of it, and camp along the Prairie Spirit Trail, the remnants of a former rail bed between Iola and Ottowa. Along the trail you can stop to camp in tall grass prairies, riparian areas, and agricultural land, as well as passing through 10 charming rural communities. Camping at El Dorado has a little of everything for everyone: with 2,000 acres of park, 4,000 acres of wildlife area and 8,000 acres of water, you can hike and bike, take your horse out on one of the many equestria trails, and boat from the marina.
And for one of the wonders of Kansas’s landscape, follow that Prairie Trail Scenic Byway to see the unusual Mushroom Rock. Resembling a giant mushroom, it is made of sandstone and sedimentary rock from 1144 million years ago.
Camping anywhere in this beautiful state is a treat with so much to see and do. It’s little wonder that Dorothy was so envious to get back to Kansas as she whispered “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”