Saturday, November 5, 2011


Tent op kampImage by florisla via Flickr
Cold weather months limit facilities, but parks still offer outdoor opportunities

PRATT — Kansas state parks began their off-season on Oct. 1, and it runs through March 31. During this time, many state parks cut down on services although all remain open. Hours and services vary from park to park, but most offices are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday but are closed on holidays.

In addition, most unheated toilets and shower buildings with running water are shut down for the cold season. Most heated buildings remain open through the regular firearms hunting seasons, and some remain open year-round. While drinkable water is available at each park headquarters all year, water is shut off at campgrounds and day-use areas that are prone to freezing pipes.

Most parks have some drinkable water available at freeze-proof valves in campgrounds into late November or early December, depending on the weather. Electricity stays on year-round where it is available. Each park remains open to vehicles; however, some campground loops may be closed. Some boat ramps across the state may be closed or only usable by shallow-draft boats.
And while some facilities are reduced, so are some off-season park permit fees. A Daily Vehicle permit is $3.70 (senior/disabled, $2.60); an Annual Vehicle permit is $19.70 (senior/disabled, $11.10); a Daily Camping permit is $7.50; and a 14-Day Camping permit is $87.50.

In addition, rental cabins 20 state parks and five wildlife areas make a winter stay comfortable. For more information on cabins at state parks, go to “State Parks/Locations With Cabins” at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) website,
For other winter park details, look up individual state parks on the KDWPT website. Conditions may also be checked by phoning individual parks.

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