Step Outside - Kansas WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Kansas 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Sat, 23 Mar 2019 13:26:46 -0500 5 Best Ski Destinations for Families Around Kansas The Midwest is home to some of the country’s best ski resorts featuring great terrain and freshly-fallen snow. Some of the snowiest resorts can be found in Missouri or just a drive away in Colorado. Whether you are looking for an expert level skiing experience or just a fun family weekend on the slopes, the following ski resorts are some of the best places to get out into nature and enjoy the thrilling experience of racing through snow covered terrain.

Snow Creek is a fantastic ski resort located just a short drive from Kansas City. The location features a drop over 300 feet and a great mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert level runs that will fit everyone’s skill level. The 10,000-square-foot ski lodge features a great bar and lounge to keep you fueled up between runs. 

If you are looking for a great ski resort to check out this winter season than take the roughly four-hour drive from Overland Park, Kansas, to Wildwood, Missouri, and check out Hidden Valley Ski. The resort features over a dozen runs of varying levels and offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Check them out on a Friday or Saturday night this winter when they turn on the flood lights for night time skiing.

Mt. Crescent Ski Area has been open every year since 1961 offering family-friendly ski experiences. The location and design for the ski resort was chosen by the famous Olympian gold medalist skier Stein Eriksen. The ski runs are over seven football fields long, giving you all day fun. The ski resort is also constantly voted as one of the best places to learn how to ski. 

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taught my guy what i love today 💙⛷

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Seven Oaks located in central Iowa is an outdoor recreation area that features skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in the winter. Their slopes contain 11 different runs, a diverse terrain park, and even a rail yard. Their chair lifts will keep you moving along quickly so you can spend all day racing down the slopes. 

Echo Mountain is located less than an hour from Denver and their ski resort offers incredible views along the Continental Divide. The resort is nestled among beautiful mountains and offers breathtaking vistas in every direction. Their trails are always covered in freshly-fallen snow that is just waiting to be carved by your skis! 

Scenic views, high altitudes..

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-ski-destinations-for-families-around-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-ski-destinations-for-families-around-kansas Fri, 01 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0600
5 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Kansas Nothing is quite as blissful as gliding across a freshly-cleaned sheet of ice in the middle of winter. From city parks to cozy down-home rinks, Kansas is home to a variety of ice skating opportunities welcome to all levels of skill. Here are the best rinks in the state. 

The Ice Rink in City Park is located at the Jon & Ruth Ann Wefald Pavilion and is a beautiful family-friendly ice skating rink. Their ice rink is always kept in great condition and you can rent a pair of skates for only $3 or feel free to bring your own. 

"if you fall pls let go of me" sorry chan

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The Kansas Expo Centre opens up during the winter for some of the best ice skating around. They have an excellent selection of figure skates and hockey skates available for rent. The huge ice rink provides tons of space for everyone to enjoy their time on the ice regardless of skill level. 

Kansas City Ice Center is a professional-quality ice rink that offers top-notch public skating and ice skating lessons. You can also learn how to play ice hockey here and their huge selection of classes offers something for everyone. 

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Ellie gave me an ice skating lesson today.

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Wichita Ice Center is the ultimate place to come for all activities on ice. They have Olympic and NHL-size rinks and large viewing windows. In addition to ice skating, they have hockey leagues and figure skating classes available. 

The Ice at Park Place is known as the premier outdoor ice skating rink in the area. The ice skating rink is surrounded by holiday festivities, shopping, and warm food and drink are available as well. Make sure to check for some of their fun special events such as the Skating with Santa and Princess Skate. 

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Best Winter Weekend Getaway at Eisenhower State Park With over 1,700 acres of land plus almost 7,000 acres of lake, the Eisenhower State Park offers endless winter weekend opportunities near Osage City, Kansas. Originally called Melvern State Park, the legislature renamed it to honor President Dwight Eisenhower in 1990. Today, it provides the perfect backdrop for families, couples, or anyone looking for a weekend away to experience the Kansas winter in all its splendor.

Located at Doud Campground, every visit to Eisenhower State Park should begin with a stop at Ike’s General Store. Not only can you pay your campground fees, but you can rent equipment, check out games, and pick up firewood. Anything you need, you can generally find.   

Once you’ve paid your campground fees and stocked up on equipment at Ike’s General Store, take your pick from over 180 campsites. Choose from campsites with water, 37 with sewer hookups, 68 electric sites, and five shower houses, along with 15 equestrian campsites. If you’re in the mood for primitive camping, consider the Cowboy Campground.

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The Crooked Knee Horse Trail in Eisenhower Park is a 20-mile winding path through “the undeveloped west side of the park,” according to the official website. While it’s intended for equestrian riders, it is also open to on-foot hikers. Why not take it and see if you can spot a few horses along the way?

If you’re so inclined, bring along your horse or rent one nearby to enjoy the 25 miles of horse-friendly trails in the park. Various trail systems are marked with a blue, orange, or yellow connector. 

The Five-Star Campground is just one of many in Eisenhower State Park, but archery lovers should note that it’s the best spot in the park to practice your skills. Weather permitting, winter archery can be one of the best ways to stay warm while working on your bow skills.

Fish along the Melvern Reservoir for crappie, walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, and more. You can check an update fishing report on their official website. GPS coordinates for those who would like an exact spot are as follows: N38 31.72 W95 44.70.

Hunters along the Melvern Lake are subject to a variety of rules and regulations, including licensing and permits. Wildlife in the area includes waterfowl, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and more. According to the official park website, “trapping which is allowed on the area can be a very successful venture due to the wide array of furbearer habitats.” 

Learn more about the surrounding area by making time to visit the Osage County Historical Society Museum. The museum has exhibits arranged to provide viewers with insights into the background and culture of the people of the city, particularly coal miners, railroading, and farmers. 

A short half hour drive away, the Glaciers Edge Winery provides an excellent spot to enjoy the wintery landscape while sipping on local wine before dinner. They have a fully equipped kitchen and state of the art audio visual system. Check their website for upcoming events.

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Head ten minutes down the road from Glaciers Edge Winery to Banjo Café in Topeka, Kansas. Finish off the weekend with a warm meal full of comfort served in a friendly atmosphere. Choose from dishes such as biscuits and gravy, meatloaf, and more.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/best-winter-weekend-getaway-at-eisenhower-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/best-winter-weekend-getaway-at-eisenhower-state-park Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0600
5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Kansas If you’re a thrill seeker in Kansas, checking out one of the state’s excellent ATV off-roading trails is a must. With so much expansive space and awesome terrain for the sport, you’ll have plenty of high-quality options. Here are five great off-roading spots in the state. 

Grab your ATV and head to the Syracuse Sand Dunes to enjoy the best off-roading. This park has over 1,300 acres of off-roading opportunities that every member of the family will enjoy. Be sure to register all off-highway vehicles at the Syracuse City Hall or Sand Park Office.

The Tuttle Creek area north of Manhattan has over 310 acres of rugged terrain with several miles of trails for the novice-level to expert hill climbs. Picnic tables and a loading ramp are located next to the entrance parking lot. The area is also open to bicycles and two, three and four-wheeled motorized vehicles. 

Several trails wind through the Riverside East section of the John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington. Riverside East Campground is located on the east bank of the Neosho River in Kansas and is open to ATV and other off road vehicles. 

The Perry Lake ATV and Motorcycle Trail covers more than 140 acres of space—with difficulty suitable for beginners and those who are more experienced. You can spend hours at this place. Just make sure to check out the map before heading out! 

Kansas Badlands offers 254 acres of ATV riding trails and tracks. Riding is open daily during daylight hours all year round. The cost is $5 per person for the week from Monday-Sunday and $10 per weekend for special events.

gettin' muddy at the Mudruns (Baby bro really hates pictures)

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5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Kansas Fall foliage hikes are the best in Kansas. Cool temperatures, amazing colors and active wildlife combined with scenic vistas and views. Pack your camera, binoculars, lunch and blanket and spend fall deep in the beauty of Kansas. 

The River Walk trails near Junction City offer a nine-mile loop and a three to four-mile, point to point, hiking trail that leads explorers through beautiful fall foliage during late October and early November. The fall colors are spectacular and the trails are available for all skill levels. The trails offer scenic tree lined paths, a lake, a river and forest views.

Wilderness Park near Pittsburg offers almost four miles of nature trails and great fall foliage hiking. Hike alone, with family, or in a group and enjoy the naturally shaded hiking trails which provide beautiful views of the many crisp colors of fall. There are several hiking trails to choose from, but the Casseletto Loop is a favorite. The Casseletto Loop offers creek views, picturesque bridges, and wide paths.

Any time of the year is a great time to visit Chase Lake Falls near Cottonwood Falls but fall is particularly wonderful, after the temperatures have cooled and the autumn colors emerge. Crisp oranges, yellows and browns canvas the quaint two-lane road that takes you to the park. Enjoy the lake views, hike to the falls, gaze over the hillsides and enjoy the wildlife. 

Get lost in fall colors hiking the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe and enjoy the vibrancy that turn this nature center into an awesome retreat from daily life. Quiet trails let you hike through peaceful nature settings. Make sure to stop to take in the beauty of this nature reserve and the opportunities to learn more about this unique Kansas environment. 

Discover the beauty of fall at the Great Plains Nature Center in Chisholm Creek Park. This is a dedicated nature park which expands into almost 300 acres of native and restored prairies, wetlands, ponds and wooded areas that are beautiful when wrapped in fall colors. Hike the 2.5 miles of paved trails and view the 38 species of trees and shrubbery. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-kansas Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
ATV Off-Roading Adventure at Otter Creek Recreation Area Kansas is known for its beautiful rolling hills and scenery that make it the perfect place to go on an off-roading adventure. There is nothing better than getting your ATV ready for a day of exploration and adventures across the vast prairies of Kansas. Experience the thrilling twists and turns of diverse terrains and enjoy some interesting stops along the way.

Start your day early by heading to the Otter Creek ATV Area which is located on the south side of the John Redmond Reservoir and offers over 140 acres of wooded trail to explore with your ATV. The trails contain diverse foliage and varying wildlife such as turkey and deer. 

After riding, you’re going to be hungry. Fill up your belly at the classic Diners’ Kafe in Burlington, Kansas. Their Monday-Friday menu features satisfying sandwiches such as shrimp po’boys, breaded chicken sandwiches, and burgers. Be sure to check out their daily specials. 

Make the most of your opportunity outdoors and head out towards the north side of the recreation area to cast your reel out along one of the many banks of the John Redmond Reservoir. The lake offers many species of fish such as crappie and catfish and it’s great place to hang out and enjoy the peaceful sounds of water and wildlife. 

Head northeast along Embankment Road until you reach the John Redmond Reservoir dam. Here you can pull off and catch a glimpse one of nature’s wonders which comes in the form of a beautiful Kansas sunset along the rolling grassy hills. 

Just down the road from the reservoir you can find the Riverside East Campground which is the perfect place to set up camp and call it a day. With over 43 campsites, it’s the perfect place to wind down after a long hard day on the trails. Pitching your tent and enjoying time around the campfire is the ultimate way to cap off a great ATV off-roading adventure. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/atv-offroading-adventure-at-otter-creek-recreation-area http://stepoutside.org/article/atv-offroading-adventure-at-otter-creek-recreation-area Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Fishing Spots in Kansas Kick back, relax, and enjoy a tranquil day of fishing in Kansas. The state is home to some first-rate fishing opportunities, from expansive reservoirs to sparkling and serene lakes. Whether you’re fishing for largemouth bass or catfish, you’re sure to find it at the five best fishing hole in Kansas. 

One of the best-stocked fishing holes in Kansas is the Larned Fishing Pond. When you fish here, you can expect to catch black crappie, bluegill, carp, channel catfish, or largemouth bass. Make sure to bring along a bucket for your catch! Be sure you have your Kansas fishing license, as well. 

Bone Creek Reservoir is a young body of water recognized in 1996 when the Bone Creek Valley flooded to supply water for the residents of Crawford and Cherokee Counties. This fishing hole is stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, walleye, and crappie. 

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Gridley City Lake is just north of Gridley and is home to an impressive fish management program. Kansas licensed fisherman may cast their hook into a fish population of sunfish, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, small mouth bass, walleye, and wiper.

These two city lakes can provide any angler with a full day of fishing fun. These lakes have been cared for and attended to and will bring anyone who visits a comfortable, quiet place to enjoy a day by the water. Be sure you have your fishing license.  

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In the covered hills of western Kansas, Sheridan State Fishing Lake is a great place to relax and fish near Hoxie. Fisherman can hook a bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, or a red ear sunfish from one of the lake’s floating piers. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-kansas Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome RV Campsites in Kansas In Kansas, you can find an excellent RV park to stop, stay, and enjoy time away with your family. RV parks are the perfect middle ground camping experience—with all the amenities you’ll need to stay cozy and all the immersion in nature to feel removed from your everyday bustling life. Here are five awesome RV parks in the state. 

The Flagstop Resort & RV Park in Milford offers RV campers a private, gated place to park for the night or an extended stay. Enjoy the sandy beaches of Milford Lake, stock up on supplies at the on-site convenience store or grab a bite at the seasonal restaurant. The grounds also feature a boat ramp, shower house, and indoor/outdoor event sites. 

Located one mile north of Hugoton, the Eagle RV Park is newly established and offers updated RV amenities. At the park, you’ll find a laundry room, showers, vending machines, and more, as well as a pool table, dart board, games, and horseshoe pits. The city of Hugoton offers loads of entertainment possibilities, too. 

Forbes Landing RV Park in Topeka is a great place to park and enjoy Topeka. This park is located close to entertainment spots, restaurants, shopping, and close to the Heartland Park Racetrack. On-site amenities include clean bathrooms, dump stations, Wi-Fi, kitchen facilities, and more. 

The Whistle Stop RV And Antiques in Colby is an easy off and easy on stop when crossing the plains of Kansas. The park is located adjacent to the Prairie Museum of Art and History—presenting a fascinating agricultural history of northwest Kansas. Within walking distance is the Aquatic Park which is perfect for a day of fun with the kids. 

You just can’t beat a KOA. Featuring a fishing pond, horseshoes, pedal karts, paddle boats, a playground, volleyball, and more, the whole family will be thoroughly entertained at Salina KOA. Not to mention the yummy food right on the grounds, including Hunt Brothers Pizza and an ice cream social! 

Day 3: setting up is getting quicker and now for dinner in town

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5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Kansas As summer ends across Kansas the welcome fall weather begins to transform landscapes to rich oranges, reds, yellows and browns. Cooler temperatures make for cozy fall campsites. Experience the beauty of Kansas at these five perfect fall camping spots in the state.  

A great out-of-the-way fall campsite perfect for crisp weather is Drury Park near Caldwell. This is an excellent spot to observe the changing colors of fall and listen to nature. This camping location is perfect for nature lovers—no swimming, alcohol, or guns are permitted at this park, which skirts a portion of the Chikaskia River. Your view also includes the Drury Dam and waterfall, operated by the Drury Recreation Area Inc. 

One of Kansas’ oldest state parks is Kanopolis near Marquette. It has more than 200 primitive campsites where you can find your own personal space. More than 15,000 acres of rolling hills, majestic bluffs, and wooded areas make this lake’s campsites extra special in the fall. Nature trails, wildlife viewing, fishing, waterfalls add to the beauty of this state park. 

Canning Creek Cove Park is located near Council Grove Lake in eastern Kansas. This campsite park is by Council Grove Lake and is part of the rolling Flint Hills and grassy prairies of eastern Kansas. During the fall, you can step outside your tent and enjoy the first light of the day, taking in the breathtaking colors painted by this landscape.

The Blackjack Campground is in the Cross Timbers State Park near Toronto. This is a wooded camping area by Toronto Lake situated along the hills of the Verdigris River Valley in southeastern Kansas. Its canopy of trees allows sunlight to highlight the park’s fall colors and dance off the native wildflowers. Lake activities, hiking, biking, and walking trails provide scenic tranquility. 

Located near Fall River, Kansas, this state park is truly something to experience in the fall. There are six hiking trails located within the park, so there is plenty of opportunity for a scenic foliage hike. This is a favorite spot among bird watchers, photographers, and naturalists, due to its immense natural diversity. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-kansas Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
8 Best Archery Outfitters in Kansas Archery is one of the oldest and most skillful sports. If you’re in need of replacement arrows, targets for practicing before a big hunt, or a complete new bow setup, you will be able to find top-notch gear at the great archery outfitters of Kansas. Here are our favorites.

Diamond Archery in Wichita is a combination indoor/outdoor archery range that also sells some of the top brands of archery supplies. They serve everyone from beginners to pro and have an archery range that goes out to 80 yards where you can practice with your new gear. 

32 is ready to kill a turkey. New strings look awesome

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Overton’s Archery Center in Lawrence and Overton provides archery equipment, archery lessons, and great advice to get you set up for a successful experience. Their dedicated staff has years of experience and can help you find the perfect bow. No matter the location you choose, you'll find high-quality bow services and an impressive selection to fit any archer's needs. 

Bowhunter Archery was started by Jerry Howarter and has been providing high-quality bow hunting products and service since 1980. With expertise in hunting, the Bowhunter Archery store can help you get setup with a new rig that will be reliable and accurate to take on your next outdoor hunting excursion. 

The outdoorsman and woman will be totally blown away by the selection at Smoky Valley Shooting Sports in Lindsborg, Kansas. Find bows from brands like Hoyt, Mathews, Bowtech, and all of the other top producers. You’ll also find a great selection of accessories like sights, rests, stabilizers, quivers, broadheads, and more.  

It’s time to “maximize your potential,” as they put it at Impulse Archery. Find all the best from Bear, Elite, Trophy Ridge, and more. Customers will also find an impressive range with life-size replica Rinehart 3D targets along with BullDog range targets. Get all of your gear and practice right here. 

Votruba Archery is an amazing local archery shop that offers great gear and bow services to keep your equipment working at its peak potential. Their shop also includes two indoor ranges, one of which has 3D targets where you can test out your new equipment. 

A true archer’s haven, Boone’s Outdoors has all you’ll need in one place. This family-owned shop carries compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows, arrows, broadheads, quivers, and more. They even have three certified bow technicians on staff! You’re in good hands at Boone’s Outdoors. 

At Jimbows n Arrows, the staff is dedicated to advancing the sport of archery and bow hunting. Find first-rate equipment, competitive prices, and unmatched services. This authorized Hoyt and PSE dealer will provide basic and advanced bow set up, maintenance and repair, custom arrows, and much more. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-archery-outfitters-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-archery-outfitters-in-kansas Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Kansas Nothing is more peaceful than casting out a line across your favorite lake and enjoying the calm sounds of nature while you wait for a fish to take your bait. If you love to fish, then you probably have an old tackle box full of different hooks, bait, and gear, so you know it’s essential to stay stocked up for a fishing trip. For all of the best equipment from high-quality brands, check out these 10 awesome bait and tackle shops in the state. 

Angler’s Bait & Tackle is a premier outdoor outfitter and their huge shop is the one-stop place to find all of the fishing gear you need. The staff is known for their welcoming attitude and they’ll always ensure customers have a great experience. 

Minnesota Bait & Fly has great service and selection of bait that will help you land your next big fish. The store has all the fishing needs for anglers including an excellent supply of lines, rods, tackle, and much more. 

“Home of the jumping worm,” Outback Bait & Tackle has been providing bait and tackle to the South Central Kansas area for many years. The shop has a huge selection of live bait and tackle and even offer services for rod & reel repairs. 

Webster Bait & Tackle is a quick place to stop and grab some bait, tackle, and snacks on your way to your next fishing adventure. They also have some camping equipment, drinks, and expert advice on where you might find your next big catch. 

Zeiner’s Bass Shop is a year round fishing store with over 64 years in business. They have been in business for so long because of their dedication to providing high-quality fishing gear and the highest level of service to their customers. 

Done & Tom’s Bait and Tackle is a fantastic little store that offers a wide selection of bait, tackle, and trapping supplies. The store is named after the two owners who have combined over 80 years of fishing experience and will help you find the perfect gear for your fishing trip. 

P&P Seed & Bait has everything you need to have a great fishing experience for you and your family. They carry fresh bait such as bloodworms, sandworms, fresh-shucked skimmer clams, and much more. Their huge bait selection is unmatched and will help you have a successful day of fishing. 

Mike’s Bait and Tackle is a family-owned business that will happily supply you with all of your fishing needs. Their shop has live bait including minnows, goldfish, worms, and a great selection of artificial bait as well. 

Mondo Tackle is a mom and pop store that serves fishing enthusiasts. They have the best selection of hard-to-find tackle that is essential to catching your next big one. Their staff is always friendly and helpful and has everything you need to take your fishing game to the next level. 

The Happy Joy Acres Store located on Lake Perry is a great little store that will help you get stocked up on fishing supplies which come in handy for the nearby lake. The shop has a tremendous selection of live bait such as minnows, shrimp, worms, and much more. Along with fishing gear they have other camping and water sport necessities. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-kansas Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Best Places to Fish in the Midwest This Fall Walleyes and a variety of salmon are on the autumn menu in the Midwest as anglers have a last chance to fish open water before the winter freeze starts to set in. Fishing for either species can be excellent; how the weather and the water temperatures line up are more critical where salmon are concerned, but the fall run extends well into November.

Walleyes aren’t so picky, and all the traditional waters such as the Mississippi River, Big Saint Germain Lake in Wisconsin, Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota and Great Lakes feeder streams give up tons of  ’eyes in the fall.

One Last Salmon Fling

The big attraction nowadays is king (chinook) salmon that make their fall spawning runs up rivers and creeks. Whether fishing from a small boat or a Great Lakes charter boat, latching on to a 20- or 30-pound king can quickly warm up an otherwise chilly fall day.

Hot Spots To Fish: Michigan’s Grand River, which empties into the eastern side of Michigan, is a prime destination for salmon. Getting Bit Guide Service (616-570-2946, gettingbitguideservice.com) in Grand Rapids is a good starting point. In fact, any port of call along Lake Michigan on either the east or west sides is likely to have plenty of knowledgeable salmon guides or charters. Fishing from jetties or piers – such as the famed McKinley Pier in Milwaukee – is also productive during the fall salmon runs.

In northwestern New York, the Salmon River lives up to its name through mid-October, but the run might linger into November in the Lake Ontario feeder, depending on the weather. Coho and steelheads also are in the mix too.

The Yankee Angler (315-963-2065, yankeeangler.com) in Pulaski, N.Y. keeps tabs on the fishing. In the big waters of Lake Ontario’s southern shore at Rochester, N.Y., give Reel Em In Sportfishing Charters (585-317-5325, reeleminsportfishing.com) a call.

Farther to the northwest, the waters and feeders of Lake Superior near Sault Ste. Marie are teeming with big salmon. One of the benefits here is that you can always slip in to the St. Mary’s River System to get away from those rough autumn nor’ westers. Live To Fish Charters (906-440-7797) can help make it happen.

New York rivers and inshore waters are teeming with big salmon in the fall.

Tackle You’ll Need: Salmon tackle and striped bass tackle (see above) are practically interchangeable. Fish might range from a few pounds to well over 20 pounds, and rods and reels should be in the medium- to-heavy range. A light- to-medium spinning outfit capable of holding a couple of hundred yards of 10- to 14-pound-test monofilament or 30- to 50-pound-test braid should do for most applications, especially when casting lures. Try the Okuma Epixor XT-20 with a matching rod.

Quick Tip: Just to hedge your bets, tie a foot-long section of 2x mono to your streamer hook and add a beadhead Prince nymph or similar pattern to the other end. When salmon are finicky, they might flash at a streamer, but not take it. Sometimes, a smaller mouthful such as a nymph trailer will seal the deal.

 

Best Lures/Bait: For the most part, spawn-run salmon hit spoons, crankbaits or roe bags out of reaction rather than hunger. Shiny lures, such as the Luhr-Jensen Twinky Rig behind a flasher, the Acme Kastmaster Spoon and a variety of soft-plastic swimbaits or hard crankbaits, will elicit strikes. Fly fishermen favor Dahlberg Divers, Wooly Buggers, Hex Nymphs and Glo Bugs.

Find the best fishing spots near you:

Find the best bait and tackle shops near you:

Walleyes Are Hungry and Willing

In similar fashion to bass, walleyes follow baitfish from the bigger lakes to feeder creeks and rivers with current.

Hot Spots To Fish: The Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea (701-421-0360, vanhookguideservice.com) in North Dakota is a prime walleye destination, as is Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago (920-598-0586, walleyepatrol.com

Tackle You’ll Need: Power fishing it’s not. Though walleyes might fatten up to well over 10 pounds, 2- to 4-pound fish are more the rule. Depending on the average size of the fish, 4- to 10-pound-test monofilament or fluorocarbon will do.

For spinning enthusiasts, the Quantum Vapor PT with matching rod will work. If you prefer trolling to casting, or bouncing a weight and natural bait on the bottom, try a baitcasting outfit such as a Fenwick/Pflueger Night Hawk or Iron Hawk combo.

Quick tip: Trolling at night with diving jerkbaits, such as the Storm Original ThunderStick or Lucky Craft Pointer 110, is a great way to catch walleyes. Troll in patterns from deep to shallow and back again, as the fish tend to relocate up and down drop-offs and channel runs depending on bait movement.

 

Best Lures/Bait: Leeches, nightcrawlers, minnows and everything from crankbaits to spinners will find favor with hungry fall walleyes. Top picks include: Rapala’s Shad Rap, Berkley’s Flicker Shad, Mepps’ Black Fury, Rapala’s Husky Jerk and Northland Fishing Tackle’s Forage Minnow Jigging Spoon.

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Photograph Courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Walleyes weighing more than 10 pounds apiece are routinely caught in the fall, but most fish are "good eating size," averaging about 3 pounds. http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-midwest-this-fall http://stepoutside.org/article/best-places-to-fish-in-the-midwest-this-fall Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
8 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Kansas Kansans love fall. This fact is self-evident from the sheer number of celebrations, apple picking opportunities, and abundant options for outdoor recreation. No matter where you are in the Sunflower State, you’re never far from a fall-themed activity. Whether you prefer to celebrate the season at a block party or during a quiet moon walk, the following activities are simply the best Kansas has to offer this fall. 

Gieringers Orchard in Edgerton, Kansas offers a wide variety of fall-themed activities, including corn maze, kids’ mini maze, and pumpkin picking. The season opens in late September and runs until late October. Make sure to try a pumpkin doughnut and apple cider slushee before you go!

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Spend the weekend with King Henry VIII while you “pay heed to the exploits of jousting knights on thundering steeds, roam the village shops for unique crafts, delight in entertainment on one of our 25 stages, and feast on delicious food and drinks,” according to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival website. Open every weekend between early September and mid-October, Kansas City offers few better ways to ring in the fall season. 

Prairie Earth Tours offers several different tour options, but the one we recommend most for late in the fall is the Premier Flint Hills Bucket List Adventure. Depending on which package you choose, expect to be treated to sightseeing, campfires, sunset horseback rides, meals, and much more.

Louisburg Cider Mill is known for their hard cider, fruit butter, and lost trail soda. See where the cider gets made before tasting the best cider they have to offer, made from apples grown on site. While the mill is open year-round, the last weekend in September and the first in October is the best time to come. That’s when they host their annual Ciderfest—a celebration all about the season and delicious cider.

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Sure, you could go camping in one of Kansas’s excellent forests or parks, but why not experience a truly authentic, uniquely Kansas experience by spending the weekend at the Moore Longhorn Cattle Ranch? A working ranch, they have 300 Texas Longhorn cattle onsite. Moore Ranch encourages visitors to join in on their ranch life, since 1998 they’ve been serving home-cooked family-style meals and an excellent experience. 

While spending a weekend at a cattle ranch isn’t an experience to miss, traditional cabin camping is nothing to scoff at, either. This fall, sign up to stay at the Acorns Resort for all your RV and cabin camping needs. They have tons of different cabin configurations and can sleep from two to 12. 

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The Maple Leaf Festival began in 1958 and has continued to be one of the premier fairs in the state. According to the festival website, founder Dr. Ivan Boyd said that the third weekend in October is the “optimum time to view the changing colors of the Maple Leaves in the area and the perfect time to celebrate the successful harvest,” giving the festival its date. Enjoy over 300 craft exhibits, music, quilt shows, and much more. 

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This local guide is situated near Atlanta, Kansas, and strives to provide an “affordable hunting or fishing adventure in a low-pressure, family-like atmosphere.” If you’re interested in going out on a personal and helpful excursion, the experts at Timber Creek Wildlife Adventures have you covered. Options include hunting for deer, turkey, and native quail, waterfowl, and several fishing opportunities. 

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Camping Done Right: 7 Best Outdoor Stores in Kansas The motto for camping is to always be prepared. Camping and sleeping out in the wilderness allows you to be close to nature and experience the outdoors in a way that no other outdoor activity can. It’s essential that to have a fun and safe experience that you are well stocked with all the necessary camping gear. The following stores are known for carrying the best brands of camping gear and having expert staff who will make sure your upcoming camping trip is well supplied for fun outdoors. 

With over 40 years of excellent service, Sunflower Outdoor and Bike is prepared to outfit you with the very best for your next camping experience. Find all of your favorite trustworthy brands like Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Osprey, Merrell, Smartwool, and more. 

Cabela’s is one of the best known outdoor stores where you can find everything you could ever need for your outdoor adventure. Their camping section is one of the best around and offers gear from all the major brands. Here you can pick up everything for your upcoming trip including relaxing ENO hammocks, Eureka! tents, and a high-quality Benchmade knife which always comes in handy. 

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With 11 different departments to choose from, this outdoor store really has it all. This is the largest locally-owned and operated sports store in Kansas. Find all the camping gear you’ll need from brands like ALPS Mountaineering and Coleman. You’ll also find dehydrators from Open Country for delicious cooking outdoors. 

Einstein’s Outdoor Outfitters has been providing the Topeka area with all of the proper gear for a safe and enjoyable camping experience for over 100 years. That’s right. A century of excellent service. Not only will you find footwear, Coleman camping goods, and other outdoor appliances, but you’ll find the complete selection of military surplus in Topeka. 

This independent specialty outdoor equipment store in Manhattan, Kansas, has been outfitting campers and outdoors people since 1975. Find top-quality packs from Osprey and Deuter, as well as tents, sleeping bags, camp cookware, tools and gadgets, safety gear, gear repair products, and much more! 

Bass Pro Shops is another leader in providing high-quality outdoor equipment including great camping accessories. Stroll through their huge store and you are bound to find some great new gear including Lodge Cast Iron cookware, the super comfortable Big Agnes camping chairs, and a nearly unlimited supply of fishing equipment to add some extra fun to your upcoming camping trip. 

Mickey’s Surplus is an army surplus store that is jam packed with all kinds of outdoor gear and military-grade equipment. Here you can find an enormous selection of camouflage clothing along with standard outdoor clothing brands like Carhartt and Dickies. Military is the main theme but you are sure to find all of your basic camping supplies here as well. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-best-outdoor-stores-in-kansas http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-best-outdoor-stores-in-kansas Wed, 15 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Kansas The state of Kansas, set in the very center of the United States, offers some of the best scenic views anywhere. For those of us looking to retreat to nature and uncover some stunning, lakeside views, these stunning waterfront campsites will do just the trick. From sparkling, secluded lakes, to vast state parks, here are five gorgeous beach campsites in Kansas. 

The perfect family-friendly campground, El Dorado makes for an incredible getaway of fishing, boating, and much more. This lakeside park boasts 2,000 acres of park, 4,000 acres of wildlife area, 8,000 acres of water, and 98 miles of shoreline. There are also 18 campgrounds available to stay the night. With hiking trails, biking and horseback riding trails, and plenty of other land and water recreation, it’s safe to say you’ll never have a dull moment at El Dorado State Park.  

Named one of the top beaches in 2012 by USA Today, Lake Scott is a site you must experience. Lake Scott is located in one of the most historic Kansas places—a spot where numerous archeological digs have turned up Native American pueblo artifacts. The lake offers great beach areas for swimming, camping, and boating. 

Locals will tell you Milford Lake near Junction City is located “in the heart of the Flint Hills” and has been called the “fishing capitol of Kansas.” But the 163 miles of shoreline provides plenty of sandy beaches for swimmers, sun tanners, and sand castles builders. Check out their campgrounds featuring RV sites, cabins, and primitive campsites. 

Great swim beaches can be found along the shoreline of Big Hill Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the lake and the Mound Valley Swimming Beach is open during May through September for a small fee. There is plenty of opportunity for picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, swimming, fishing, and more. 

Situated near Halstead, Kansas, Spring Lake is dedicated to giving your family the most memorable camping experience. RV, cabin, and tent camping are all available on site. Spring Lake is the centerpiece to a wonderful campground that offers swimming, mini golf, an exercise room, basketball, playgrounds, and even karaoke and bingo!  

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