When you’re ready for some exercise, you’ll find an unmistakable list of options for getting a move on.
Yes, we know. Lawrence can be a tad fanatical about our sports teams. But can you blame us? Our high school squads have a long tradition of state championships. Haskell Indian Nations University has given the world Olympians Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills. And… you did know this was Jayhawk nation, right? The University of Kansas Jayhawks are perennial top contenders in the men’s NCAA national basketball tournament, and its track & field team has gold medal in its blood. With recreation trails, courts and parks across the town, there is always a chance to join in a game.
Find the sport you’re looking for right here in Lawrence.
South Lawrence Trail
The S. Lawrence Trafficway Trail loosely follows the S. Lawrence Trafficway—also known as State Route 10—on the outskirts of the city of Lawrence. This concrete trail passes by new residential developments, parks, and farmland over its 9-mile length. A portion of the trail winds through the Clinton Lake emergency spillway, a deep gorge cut into the rolling landscape. Recommended parking is located at the start of the SLT Trail located at 3433 S Iowa Street or at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum located at 5100 W 27th Street which is roughly the midway point of the trail.
Lawrence Levee Trail
Located along the north bank of the Kansas River, the Lawrence Levee Trail runs along the top of the flood-control levee on the outskirts of Lawrence. This crushed stone 9-mile trail offers views of nearby farmland and the river as well as the downtown area of Lawrence, on the opposite bank. In the north, the trail provides access to Riverfront Park, which features a disc golf course, off-leash dog park and a wildlife and native grass preserve. At the southeastern end of the trail, various hiking and mountain biking spur trails provide a diverse range of experiences closer to the Kansas River. Parking is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of N. 2nd & Locust Streets. This location places you in the middle of the levee trail—4 miles in either direction before you reach a turnaround point.
Burroughs Creek Trail
The Burroughs Creek Trail and Linear Park run from 11th to 23rd streets along an abandoned rail corridor just west of Haskell Avenue. The 1.7-mile trail follows Burroughs Creek and features extensive landscaping and benches. Evidence of the area’s rail history is still in place, with tracks heading into a large rail yard visible north of E. 11th Street. In the south, the trail connects directly to the Haskell Rail-Trail—the first operational rail-trail in Kansas—as well as Haskell Indian Nations University.
Everything you need to know about cycling in Lawrence can be found here.
Clinton Lake Trails
Hiking, cycling and equestrian trails are plentiful at Clinton Lake and Clinton State Park. Check out this brochure for all of the details.
Indoor Aquatic Center
The Lawrence Parks and Recreation Indoor Aquatic Center is a community-supported, $9 million family aquatic center. The Indoor Aquatic Center’s pools hold 850,000-gallons of water and features a 10 lane, 50-meter competition pool with diving well and underwater classroom; a separate family pool with zero-depth entry, water slide, and interactive children’s play features; meeting rooms; shower/locker rooms and a café-style concession area. Both pools are heated and offer a high level of satisfaction all year around with the temperature of water set at 82° in the competition pool and 87° on the family side. Locker rooms and all pools are fully accessible by both ramp entry and lift. Submersible wheelchairs are available.
Outdoor Aquatic Center
The Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center provides the good old-fashioned atmosphere of a traditional neighborhood pool with all the fun and excitement of a first-class water park. The Outdoor Aquatic Center boasts two water slides, zero-depth children’s area, diving well, interactive play features including fountains, spray mushrooms, and water buckets, and a 50-meter competition area. The fun and convenience extend out of the water as well, with shaded lounge areas, adjoining grass playground, and a full-line café style concessions area.
Eagle Bend Golf Course & Learning Center
18 holes, par 72, 6812 yards
This municipal course was voted as one of the top three golf courses in Kansas by the Kansas City Star in 2003 and has been named as a “Places to Play” by Golf Digest. The first six holes on the course are open with no trees; the remaining holes are heavily wooded and sit in the shadow of the Wakarusa River. Eagle Bend’s amenities include 18 holes of championship golf, a full-service pro shop, snack bar, driving range, a short iron range, practice putting and chipping greens, club repair and custom club fitting and golf instruction by PGA professionals.
Centennial Disc Golf Course
located at 600 Rockledge Road
This 18-hole course has no green fees or expensive equipment to buy. Disc Golf is played like regular golf except a flying disc is used in place of a ball.One point is counted each time the disc is thrown and when a penalty is incurred.
RiverFront Disc Golf Course
located at the intersection of North Second St. and Highways 24 and 40
18-hole disc golf course is shorter than the course located in Centennial Park but is considered to be more challenging because many of the holes navigate throughout wooded sections of the park.
Maps and scorecards are available at all recreation centers and online.
Sports Pavilion Lawrence
This 181,000 square-foot facility is the perfect venue for most mat and net sports. Sports Pavilion offers:
- 8 full-size basketball or 16 full-size volleyball courts
- Indoor soccer/sports arena
- 200-meter indoor walking/jogging track
- cardio/weight area
- outdoor lighted tennis courts
Meeting rooms, concession area, and free WiFi round out the amenities offered at the Sports Pavilion.
Constructed in 1940, the Community Building was originally designed as an armory. It now serves as a recreational and fitness facility for the entire Lawrence population. The building had been renovated since and has been a popular place for everything from playing basketball to holding a wedding reception. The Community Building offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The facility features:
- Locker /Shower facilities
- Full-size Gymnasium
- Wellness/Weight room with Cardio Equipment
- Dance Studio
- Meeting rooms with access to a kitchenette
East Lawrence Recreation Center
East Lawrence Recreation Center, located in the heart of Lawrence’s historic east side, was renovated in 1997 and reopened as an 18,500 square foot recreation center. The East Lawrence Recreation Center is a popular place among all members of the community, providing a comfortable and fun atmosphere to the public. Visitors can enjoy everything from a game of basketball to shooting pool at this recreation center.
This facility is totally accessible. Facility features include:
- A Full-Size Gymnasium
- Locker/Shower Facilities
- Smaller Gymnasium used for the Department’s Gymnastics Program
- Game Area (billiards, foosball, ping pong)
- Wellness/Weight Room with Cardio Equipment
- Meeting Room with Full-Size Kitchen
- Full-Size Gymnasium
- Combination Racquetball/Handball Court
- Locker/Shower facilities
- Game Room (billiards, foosball, air hockey)
- Wellness/Weight Room with Cardio Equipment
- Meeting room with a kitchenette
OUTDOOR SPORTS COMPLEXES
Holcom Sports Complex
Dedicated in 1974, the sports complex, which can be reached from 25th or 27th and Iowa Streets, includes four lighted baseball diamonds, two tee ball fields, restrooms, concession area, two soccer/football field and a 300 car parking lot.
Youth Sports Complex
The Youth Sports Complex has 23 soccer fields, five football fields, four baseball diamonds and a practice area. The complex is an ideal location for youth sports tournaments, as well as programming by Parks and Recreation Department staff.
The amenities of the park include:
- Baseball/Softball Field
- Drinking Fountain
Clinton Lake Softball Complex
Clinton Lake Softball Complex is a four-diamond complex opened in 1997, located on approximately 70 acres. Each field is 300 ft. with 20 ft. wide warning tracks. Additional fencing was added to the backstops in 1999 to accommodate the play of youth baseball and fast pitch softball, as well as adult slow pitch.
The complex features:
- Electronic scoreboards
- Covered playground
- Fenced warm-up areas
- 10 Station batting cages
- Large covered dugouts
- Concession stand with covered picnic areas
CAMPING & WATER SPORTS
Clinton Lake State Park
Located only four miles west of Lawrence, Clinton State Park meets the needs of traditional recreationists while also providing a venue for a variety of non-traditional uses. Some special events draw visitors from across the country. It boasts one of the largest marinas in the state, with abundant scenic beauty.
Park Office: year-round operation for all department sales and customer service.
Clinton Marina: private enterprise; boat storage and sales.
Park day use areas: open fields picnicking, 6 reservable shelters, playgrounds and special event venue areas
Campgrounds: 383 total sites; 140 sites with water and electricity (30 & 20 amp plugs), 74 sites with water and electricity (50/30 & 20 amp plugins), 169 as primitive sites,
Reservations: 160 sites available for reservation by visiting reserveamerica.com
Cabins: 6 Cabins that sleep 6 and 1 two bedroom cabin that sleeps 8.
Year-round camping with heated shower house, frost-free hydrants and laundry facilities in campground #3.
Boat launch areas: 16 lanes, eight accessible courtesy docks, and parking areas.
Special use amenities: 25 mile hike/bike trail, 5 mile cross country ski trail, 1 mile self-guided nature trail, archery range, swim beach, sand volleyball, mountain bike skills course, 3 acre trout pond, 1 acre children’s fishing pond, accessible shoreline use trail, fish cleaning station and 2 fish feeders, 4 playgrounds.
Kansas River Trail
The Kansas River is one of the world’s longest prairie rivers, providing countless recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat as well as drinking water, irrigation and electricity for many communities. The Kansas River Trail is a great opportunity to explore the unique beauty of eastern Kansas from a whole new perspective – from the river itself! There are five river access points for canoes and kayaks in Douglas County: one each in Lecompton and Eudora and three in Lawrence. Along the river, you’ll see yellow signs like this one . These signs show the distance between access points.
For your canine friends, Lawrence offers two off-leash dog parks where man’s best friend can let it all loose and have some fun.
Mutt Run is used extensively by dog owners. The park sits on property leased from the U.S. Corps of Engineers below the Clinton Lake Dam in West Lawrence.
Mutt Run is an ideal atmosphere to bond with your dog, enjoy canine interaction and let your dog run free. The park includes restrooms, a drinking fountain, water for dogs and a small parking lot. Mowed paths run through the fields and along wooded areas. Users must be responsible for their pets and obey rules and regulations posted at the site.
To access the park, take Clinton Parkway west to the Clinton Dam Road, turn south on the dam road and take the first left onto 902 Road. Follow 902 Road to the first left. The 30-plus acre Off-leash Park is at the bend in the road that leads to the north side of the spillway.
Off-leash Dog Park at Riverfront Park is similar to Mutt Run but closer to downtown Lawrence. Located at the intersection of North Second Street and Highways 24 and 40, it is not far from Massachusetts Street at a nice location along the Kansas River.