Keeper of the Plans

All Kansas state parks will be free to explore this Black Friday

Sunrise drone flight over Cheney State Park

(AUGUST 29, 2017) - Take a sunrise drone flight over Cheney State Park.
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(AUGUST 29, 2017) - Take a sunrise drone flight over Cheney State Park.

This year, Kansas is joining the movement to get people outdoors on Black Friday.

On Friday, as part of the national #OptOutside movement, the state of Kansas will waive all admission fees at its state parks.

It’s one of many states that are hosting similar events this Friday.

And if you document your visit to one of Kansas’ 27 state parks with a selfie, you have a chance to win a free night’s stay at a state park cabin. To enter, post a selfie with the hashtags #OptOutside and #MyKSStatePark to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Though the daily vehicle fees will be waived, you’ll still have to pay for fishing, overnight camping and other such activities.

Three state parks will be hosting free guided programs on Friday:

Kanopolis State Park, 200 Horsethief Road in Marquette, is hosting a seven-mile guided bike ride from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Beachhouse Shelter office and provide your own bike.

Prairie Dog State Park, 13037 KS-261 in Norton, is hosting a two-mile “Turkey Trot” hike at 9 a.m. Gather at the park office.

Tuttle Creek State Park, 5800 River Pond Road in Manhattan, is hosting a seven-mile bike ride from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the park’s office.

The #OptOutside movement was started by outdoors retailer REI, to encourage alternatives to the crush of Black Friday shopping that typically occupies the day after Thanksgiving.

Here are the closest state parks to Wichita:

  • Cheney Reservoir, 16000 NE 50th Street, Cheney. Known for its lake. Plenty of fishing and sailing opportunities.
  • El Dorado Reservoir, 618 NE Bluestem Road, El Dorado. Known for its lake and fishing and sailing opportunities, as well as hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
  • Sand Hills State Park, 4207 E. 56th, Hutchinson. Known for its sand dunes, grasslands, wetlands and woodlands.
  • Fall River State Park, 2381 Casner Creek Road, Fall River. Known for its blend of forest and prairie. Many people enjoy canoeing Fall River.

For more information, visit www.ksoutdoors.com.

Kansas state parks use yurts to offer a camping alternative.

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