Hiking Kansas: Kanopolis, Mushroom Rock, Sand Hills, and Clinton State Parks

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 , 10 Comments

My tent was feeling lonely and I was restless and overwhelmed with school and so last weekend I loaded up  my tent, picked up a friend, and headed west for a two day camping and hiking trip. The main goal was Horsethief Canyon in Kanopolis State Park and hit some smaller parks along the way. Unfortunately, despite the incredibly low lake level at Kanopolis, the resident beavers were innovative enough to flood the hiking trails--making our journey to Horsethief Canyon impossible on foot--as wet wading would have been reckless with falling temperatures approaching freezing. Regardless it was a beautiful hike and I plan on returning within the next year to complete the journey to the canyon when warmer temperatures will allow for a more responsible crossing. Sunday, we left Kanopolis and briefly hit Kansas's smallest state park, Mushroom Rock, before hiking Sand Hills. Upon returning to Lawrence we made a brief stop at Clinton State Park to check out the waterfall. Overall, temperatures were a little on the brisk side, but it was good to get outside, take some photos, and enjoy the diverse Kansas landscape. 


Nice post with wonderful pictures.My favorite is the two legged rock :)
Keep trekking!

Diane New said...

Kansas is as beautiful and unspoiled in parts as anywhere in the US. Lovely photos.

You've got to love country that looks like that.

Atlas said...


Thank you, Mushroom Rock State Park is definitely unique. I have never seen anything quite like it.

Atlas said...


Thank you for the kind words. And yes, people often think Kansas is flat and unassuming in its grandeur but if you take the time to look, there are some lovely surprises.

Atlas said...


You really do have to appreciate the majesty of nature we are surrounded with. The waterfall is maybe 5 min from my house and one of my favorite places to visit in the area. Not bad fishing under there as well, at times.

Scott said...

Great photos. Wild landscape and rock formations. I like your perspectives too. It helps me think about what your seeing and feeling. A big open country,but kind of intimate too. Rugged,poised thoughtful. Wonderful lighting. The deer seem to be dancing.

Atlas said...


Thank you for the compliments! I really enjoy your blog as well and have added a link.

Gregg said...

As an amatuer geographer, part of my major, I'm fascinated by the mix of Eastern, Midwestern, and Western features you presented. As well as the mix of plants and animals. Very well done compilation!


Atlas said...


Yes, I am surprised how much geographic diversity I found within 2 1/2 hour of my house.