Kansas Secrets

The Kansas secrets stories we have to tell about our meandering trip in Kansas are not at all secrets to people who live in Kansas or those of you who have any knowledge of Kansas. Still, for us, these were magnificent secret places we had never heard of before planning this trip.

After our long afternoon “in the salt mines,” we took off in a northerly direction with no idea where we would spend the night. We did have a plan that included visiting specific sights we had read about and were interested in seeing and a rough draft list of places we could spend the night in our RV.

This is one of the many things we enjoy most about RV travel. We can stop, stay, and go anywhere we choose almost and often without reservations.

Kansas Rest Area #24511 (Northbound)

I-135N Milemarker 68, Kansas
GPS Coords. 38.48181 , -97.62004

Our first stop, not precisely conversation for dinner time, was to take care of the housekeeping issue of dumping the black and grey water tanks. We found it through the free app “RV Parky” on my phone.

I checked for dump stations on our route, and this marvelous highway rest stop popped up on our path. We stopped, Steve took care of business, and I walked the dogs through the park area with picnic tables and bathrooms. Very convenient!

The Old Mill Campground

120 Mill St.
Lindsborg, KS 67456
Nightly rates: $7 w/o electric hook-up and $10 w/electric hook-up

Kansas secrets

The drive from Hutchison, including our stop at the rest stop, took less than an hour and a half, so we reached Lindsborg, our destination, by mid-afternoon. I am sure we say this a lot, but this was a perfect RV park!

The RV Park is small, secluded, with tons of tall trees everywhere, and next to the Smoky Hill River. Not a single other person was camped there! There are probably two dozen campsites with electrical hookups, picnic tables, grills, and fire rings.

The RV sites are on a first-come basis except for holidays or events in town. We checked in by phone and arranged to stop by the museum in a few days to pay for our site – very informal. Our little family had two very peaceful days and nights at this campground.

We explored in the Jeep for the next two days and didn’t even make it into the town of Lindsborg until the day we were leaving.

Coronado Heights Park

Lindsborg, Kansas
Off-highway 4, 3 miles northwest of
Lindsborg, Kansas, off of Hwy. 4
(888) 227-2227
Open 8 am – 11 pm

Kansas secrets

This is the first of those Kansas secrets. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was near Coronado Heights Park when he decided to end his search for the seven cities of gold and return to Mexico.

As soon as we got the RV situated, we hopped in the Jeep and headed for this Park to see the castle the Works Progress Administration (“WPA”) constructed in 1932.

Now under the Smoky Valley Historical Association’s ownership, Coronado Heights Park is at the top of a hill and at the end of a twisty windy road; and in addition to the fantastic castle you can freely enter and wander through, lovely stone picnic tables are set about the area.

Several people were there that afternoon, enjoying a family picnic and taking in the spectacular views from the top of the hill. We arrived just before sunset and stood mesmerized by the stunning views. A young couple just happened to be there having their wedding photos taken by a photographer.

They indeed got some spectacular images! We encountered other families and couples hiking or riding on the bike trail. This is a great park! In 2019 a landslide over the road caused the Park to be closed for some time. The Park was able to open again in August 2020.

Kansas secrets
Family selfie at Coronado Heights Park!

Mushroom Rock State Park

200 Horsethief Rd.
Marquette, KS    67464
Park Office – (785) 546-2565

Here is another one of those Kansas secrets — giant rock formations that look like mushrooms! Mushroom Rock State Park, managed by nearby Kanopolist State Park and the smallest state park in Kansas, was designated one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas in 2010.

These giant mushroom rocks were formed 66 to 144 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period. These rock formations were amazing to see. 

Rock City Park

Rock City, Inc.
1051 Ivy Road
Minneapolis, Kansas 67467
Open dawn to dusk – $3 fee

This “secret” is another tiny Park. It, however, is owned and operated by a non-profit corporation. A small gift shop is at the Park entrance, but it was closed for the season the day we were there. At this Park, you will find approximately 200 massive Dakota sandstone rocks up to 27 feet in diameter.  

There must have been 30-40 children of all ages climbing all over and around these rocks when we arrived. Steve and I are, unfortunately, a day or two past our rock climbing days, but it looked like fun!

By the way, there are no rules here, and I did not see one single broken child limb either, just a lot of laughing and play!

Kansas secrets

Ghost sign in Minneapolis, KS, near Rock City

Salina, KS

As we often do, we took the “scenic route” back to Lindsborg and our campsite. We ended up in Salina, Kansas. I had not read about nor did I know anything about Salina.

However, as we began to drive through the historic-looking downtown streets, we became aware of fantastic sculptures all along the main road.

We stopped, and I walked along the street, snapping these photos of all the sculptures I could see, although I am sure there are many more I missed. Salina conducts a Sculpture competition and exhibition each year. Twenty to 30 sculptures are selected each year and are placed in the downtown area for a year.

Walking along viewing these sculptures is a beautiful way to attract tourists to this city. This Sculpture Tour Salina (“STS”) has been taking place for ten years. These are only some of the sculptures we saw.

Out of Africa by Dale Lewis
Out of Africa by Dale Lewis
Working Woman #3 by George Tobolowsky
Waco Surprise by Rollin Karg
The Muse of Music by Jodie Bliss
Slices of Heaven By Craig Gray
Silver Streaks by Jim Stewart
Leap of Fate by Timothy Rickman
My Mental Garden by Sandy Friedman
Off The Merry Go Round View by Jodie Bliss
Out of Africa by Dale Lewis
Picasso’s Violin by Jodie Bliss
I Bet You Can’t Pin Me Down by Justin Deister
For the Love of Steel by Sunny-Ann Corbett
Flair by Gregory Johnson
And You by Chris Wubbena
Ballet Was Not An Option by Tim Chapman
Dancing Moon Rollers by Reven Marie Swanson
Enchantment of Reading by James Haire
Fish Tale by Gregory Johnson
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After our Salina walking tour, we returned to the Old Mill Campground, built a roaring campfire, and had a very predictable camping supper – chili dogs! Also, since we were all alone at the campsite, we were able to let Tank and Lilly roam freely off their leashes, chasing leaves and each other.

What a great ending to a perfectly wonderful day on the road, but we’re not through with Kansas yet. Stay tuned as we discover new hidden gems in Kansas.

Kansas Secrets

3 thoughts on “Kansas Secrets

  1. Pingback: Little Sweden in Kansas? | Always Want To Go
  2. What an interesting town! Love the sculptures.

    1. It was a neat town to walk through. Each time we thought we’d seen the last sculpture, we would find another one. We ran out of daylight and had to stop looking.

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