Butler County Times Gazette
  • Spring into summer at Kansas State Parks

  • Saturday will be a free entrance day and open houses featured at all Kansas state parks
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  • Harsh winter weather has people longing for warmer days ahead, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has the perfect remedy for cabin fever. KDWPT invites outdoor enthusiasts to “Spring Into Summer” on Saturday with a free entrance day and open houses at all Kansas state parks. Most parks will host special activities for the whole family to enjoy.
    There will be several special activities at El Dorado Lake, including:
    • Nature photography hike: 10 a.m., Walnut River Area trailhead in Eagle Pass campground.
    • Archery Range: Open all day
    • Archery lessons: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Equipment provided
    • Cabin tour: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Walnut River area
    • Free boat inspections: 8 a.m. – noon, Park Office
    Plus, visitors can enter a statewide drawing to win a free one-night stay at a state park cabin of their choice. No purchase is necessary. The free one-night stay must be used in 2014, is subject to availability and may be used for a single night or to extend a paid cabin reservation for another night. Limit one entry per person. The drawing will be held April 10. Local drawings will be held at each site for items such as T-shirts. Visitors do not need to be present to win.
    During Spring Into Summer, park goers can take advantage of low off-season camping permit prices.  March 31 is the last day annual camping permits are priced at off-season discounts. On April 1, the prices increase to their regular prime-season levels.
    Visitors can purchase annual camping permits and make cabin or campsite reservations during the open houses, as well.
    For pricing information and to purchase permits online, go to the KDWPT Web site, ksoutdoors. com. For online permit purchases, click License/Permits. For campsite and cabin reservations, click Reservations.
    Kansas motor vehicle owners can now buy an annual park vehicle permit as part of their vehicle registration process. The permit – called a Kansas State Parks Passport – costs $15.00 plus a 50 cents service fee to the county treasurer. This lower-price, non-transferable permit is available only during the vehicle registration process at a motor vehicle registration office, through the online vehicle registration site (www.kswebtags.org), or when registering by mail. The Kansas State Parks Passport will expire when the vehicle registration expires a year later.
    The state parks and their scheduled events are listed below. All park offices will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The schedule is subject to change without notice.
    Visit http://kdwpt. state.ks.us/State-Parks/State-Parks-Open-House to learn about the special events at participating parks.  
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