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Kaw River State Park

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KS River SP2


300 SW Wanamaker Rd.
Topeka, KS 66606

Contact Information

Park Office – (785) 273-6740

Kaw River SP 404.36 kB

Kaw River is Kansas’ newest state park and is the only urban type park in the state park system. The property was acquired by donation in 2005 and the park officially opened to public use on September 4, 2010.


Forested trails and access to the Kansas (Kaw) River sets Kaw River State Park apart from other state parks. Hiking and mountain-biking trails wind through an extensive oak-hickory forest on steep slopes with good views. The park property presently consists of 76 acres of land on the south bank of the Kansas River in west Topeka, and it is adjacent to MacLennan Park and Cedar Crest (the Kansas Governor’s residence) to the east. The Kansas Wildlife & Parks Region 2 Office is also adjacent to the park property. Additional property west of the Region Office building will also include public access for trails. Kaw River State Park is the only free state park in Kansas.


Trail usage includes walking, hiking, running, and mountain-biking. There is a wide range of trail types of various skill levels, and are designed and constructed for erosion protection, sustainability, and access. The park has both double-wide gravel surface trails and dirt-surface single-track trails.


The Kansas River is accessible from a boat ramp and parking area. This river access is available for canoes, kayaks, and other small craft. Two miles downstream is Portage Park, which provides a portage around the city water wier (low-head dam). Learn about river conditions and know your skill level and abilities before entering the water.


Some of the more remote areas of the park provide interesting natural features and views. Deer, turkey, and numerous other wildlife species are common in the surrounding forest. Eagles and various species of waterfowl are common visitors on the river through winter.

Special Regulations:
  • Hours 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • All pets must be on leash
  • No ground fires
  • No motorized vehicles off road or on trails
  • Alcoholic beverages prohibited
  • No camping or overnight use
  • No equestrian use