One of only three public-access rivers in Kansas, the 173-mile Kansas River National Water Trail’s abundant paddler amenities compensate for the lack of on-water recreation opportunities elsewhere in the state. Taking the trophy for the largest prairie-based river in the world, this shallow river weaves through braided sandbars and accessible recreation communities on its way to a confluence with the Missouri River in Kansas City.
Lawrence, Kansas is a progressive and thriving outdoor community. But like several other trail communities, it took time and persistence to build and maintain momentum around their treasured Kansas River water trail. “I grew up on the river,” said Dawn Buhler, Executive Director of Friends of the Kaw (local name for the Kansas River). “To get to the water you had to live on the river, know someone who lived on the river, or trespass to get to the river.” Now there are 21 public boat launches and access points every 10 to 15 miles along the entire water trail thanks to the Friends of the Kaw in partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Read more>