A small parking area and short ¼ mile trail provide access to explore the spillway channel canyon. During the flood of record in 1993, the spillway released 60,000 CFS thru the channel for 3 weeks. This eroded soil and rock, transforming the channel into a canyon land with numerous rock layers exposing geologic features and fossils. Much of the canyon has been repaired and fill in, but the lower section remains open to explore.
Location: This trail is located in River Pond Park, operated by Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (vehicle permit required). From Manhattan, KS take Tuttle Creek Blvd. (US 24) north approximately 5 miles. Turn right onto K-13 Hwy towards the dam. Continue across the dam crest and turn right into River Pond. At the intersection past the gatehouse, turn left. The trailhead is located ¼ mile ahead, on the left.
Distance: ¼ mile improved surface. No trails are designated nor improved in the canyon itself. (click here for map)
Type: linear (open to non-motorized use, no horses)
Rating: improved trail is easy. Canyon is unimproved and areas are difficult to traverse.
Terrain: improved trail is flat. Canyon has numerous steps, ledges, and uneven surfaces.
Surface: improved trail is mulch and dirt. Canyon is rock and gravel.
Ecosystem: barren with interspersed shrubs. Numerous groundwater pools.
Features: Spillway and pond views, wildlife viewing opportunities, geological and fossil features. Water and restrooms available in River Pond park.
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tuttle Creek ORV & Spillway Cycle Area:
9:00 am to sunset
Tuttle Creek Project Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
5020 Tuttle Creek Blvd
Manhattan, KS 66502
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