5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Kansas

By Cindy Lockstone

5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Kansas

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If you’re looking for a paddle sport adventure, consider taking up kayaking to explore the lakes and rivers of Kansas. With the presence of a guide or knowledge of a safety course, you’ll feel ready to go in no time. It doesn’t matter if you have minimal to no experience, these great spots will give you the perfect balance of guidance and challenge to set you on your way. 

1. Kansas River

The Kansas River stretches 173 miles from north central Kansas to the Missouri River, and is an ideal spot for novice boaters. The Kansas River provides a scenic route for first timers to easily tackle, and more experienced kayakers to enjoy as well. There are many stops along the way, but be sure to take your map!

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2. Pillsbury Crossing, Manhattan, KS

Experience the peaceful calm waters of Pillsbury Crossing on your next kayak outing near Manhattan. Follow the stream through the wildlife area and enjoy the terrain, bird watching and places where a variety of bass fish are spotted.

Little waterfall at at Pillsbury Crossing! #Kansas #pillsburycrossing

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3. Kaw River State Park, Topeka, KS

The Kaw River is available for kayakers to follow downstream to remote water trail areas of the park, where stunning views and wildlife are common. Kayakers should always know the river conditions and the river’s skill levels before entering the water.

4. Tuttle Creek State Park, Rocky Ford, KS

Kayakers at Tuttle Creek State Park near Rocky Ford can access the Kansas River at three entry ports. However, the River Pond area is perfect for beginning kayakers to enjoy the water and practice maneuvering. Kayak rentals are available at this lake.

5. Little Arkansas River, Wichita, KS

Kayaking slowly down the Arkansas River through parts of Wichita is awesome. The trip can take 2-3 hours as you navigate your kayak through the wide, calm waters. Be sure to contact the Arkansas River Coalitions for floating information. Sometimes the Coalition will provide the kayaks and life jackets to paddlers. 

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