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Wilson, KS

Wilson, KS

Park Review – Wilson State Park

We stayed one night in this park on the way east toward Missouri. Located in the heart of the Smoky Hills, Wilson State Park is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the state. Wilson Reservoir features a rugged shoreline punctuated by scenic cliffs and rocky outcrops.

Wilson Reservoir offers excellent white bass and striped bass angling. The Cedar Trail in the Otoe area is a one-mile loop with a concrete surface and is great for a leisurely, low-stress walk. The 24.5-mile long Switchgrass Bike Trail is popular with mountain bikers to pursue this challenging activity.

Wilson Wildlife Area is located on the upper end of 9,000 acre Wilson Reservoir. The 8,069-acre public hunting area is made up of 5,000 acres of rugged rolling hills of native prairie, approximately 2,000 acres of cropland, and 1,000 acres of riparian timber along the Saline River, Cedar Creek, Turkey Creek, and Elm Creek. The area has a waterfowl refuge that was established in 1996.

Wilson State Park

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Location:  Wilson, KS
Site Quality / Amenities: Asphalt roads and gravel sites. There were a few small trees to sit under that that provided a small amount of shade. Restrooms and showers were provided although we did not use them. 50A electrical service with full hookups.
Type: State Park
Access: Easy access about 5 miles north of I-70, and west of K-232.
Staff: We had minimal interaction with the staff but when we did they were efficient and professional.
Cellular/Wi-Fi: AT&T was reported as marginal but Verizon speeds were great.
Restaurants: We did not eat out while here.
Nearby parks: We didn’t look at any other parks in the area.
What we liked: Unlike much of the state, this area included many rolling hills.
What we didn’t like: The site we were in was not very level. No shade over the site.
Verdict: This is a nice park with lake views and rolling hills and is a good option for a few days when travelling through the area. We’d stay here again.

High Plains RV Resort, Oakley KS

High Plains RV Resort, Oakley KS

Park Review

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (for an overnight)
Site Quality: Gravel pads and roads. The site (115) was plenty long enough for our RV and truck.
Type: Commercial
Access: Right off of I-70 on US 83 north of Oakley Kansas. There is a convenient gas station / truck stop right across the street from the park where we could fill up on the way in so we didn’t have to unhook to go get fuel. It was a good thing as we were down to 50 miles of fuel left along with a low fuel warning.
Staff: Due to COVID and being a small park, we didn’t need to interact with staff. We just picked up our envelope at the front door.
Amenities: Onsite restaurant, splash pool, hot tub and public fire pit. There was also onsite laundry facilities and restrooms although we didn’t use either one.
Cellular/WiFi: Verizon and AT&T were both very strong. AT&T reached 12 Mbps while Verizon was about 19 Mbps.
Restaurants: One of the places mentioned on the park website was Cap’n Jack’s Pub which is onsite. We weren’t completely sure but Cap’n Jack and his wife may be the same ones who run the RV park. It was highly rated, particularly for seafood and steaks (although they have burgers and other things) which surprised us since this park is in the middle of nowhere. We decided we’d try it not expecting much but to our surprise it lived up to the hype. Anna got a steak that was one of the best we’d had in some time. I had crab cakes and they were equally awesome. It came with a price (each meal was about $26) but both were as good as you would find in a large city. As mentioned there are also less expensive options as well. If you stop at the park or are just driving by, you have to stop here!
What we liked: Easy access to both the park and fuel right off I-70. Cap’n Jack’s Pub.
What we didn’t like: There is a good bit of road noise from I-70. There are also numerous “Kansas” thorn bushes in the grass between and around the sites.
Nearby Parks: None
Verdict: We would absolutely stay here again when travelling through. This park although basic and gravel was much better than the places we stopped in 2019 in Hays and Limon.

Creek Side Resort, Hays, KS

Creek Side Resort, Hays, KS

Fort Hays was an important frontier military fort built in 1865 to protect the Union Pacific Railway. As you might suspect from the pictures below, the buffalo was important in this area. Some of the famous characters around the area when it was known as the most lawless town on the frontier were George Custer, Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody.

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Deer Creek Valley RV Park, Topeka, KS

Deer Creek Valley RV Park, Topeka, KS

After a three week stop in Springfield Missouri to visit family for Thanksgiving, we needed to head west toward Colorado but we also needed to find a place that could align our trailer wheels. With MorRyde independent suspension each wheel on our trailer can be aligned much like a car. We had already tried a couple of places who said they could align anything, but it turned out they could align anything but our trailer. As luck would have it, there was a MorRyde certified alignment service center in the small town of Pittsburg, KS just north and west of Joplin along our path. We stopped in at Holland Alignment at our scheduled appointment time and they started work right away. Everything was completed within the 2 hours I was told it would take and at the price I was quoted ($180).

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Kanopolis State Park – Marquette

Kanopolis State Park – Marquette

Rating:  
Location: Marquette, Kansas
Site Quality:  Paved roads gravel pads (Sumac Loop). Back in spots throughout the park. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.
Type:  State Park
Access:  Easy access from Interstate 70 or 135 but 15 to 20 miles in and off state hwy 141.
Staff: Friendly and helpful.
Amenities:  Showers and restrooms (not in Sumac loop though),  playground for kids. There is a swim area and boat launches as well as other facilities but we did not use any of these.
Cellular/WiFi:  AT&T and Verizon 2 bars and decent speeds (>22Mbps on AT&T but Verizon was a bit slower). WiFi was not available.
What we liked:  Quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Felt safe. Our site (#13) was spacious enough for the rig and truck although our truck had to sit on the grass a bit.
What we didn’t like: Do not get truck passes online. At the park they are $5 per day, online a one day pass was $13 after additional fees. There are booths or self-pay stations to get these on site. The facilities in the Sumac loop were starting to edge toward being a bit run down. The picnic tables for example could use new wood tops. Also some of the pavement was quite uneven in some sites from tree roots. We could not get DirecTV but only because of a tree blocking our view of the southern sky.

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