By Kyle Ruona, Natural Resource Management Specialist, Kansas City District
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City District invites you to enjoy the “Top 9 things to do at Heartland Corps lakes this fall”.
1. Hike for the view, Harry S. Truman Lake, Warsaw, Mo.
o Be one of the first to hike the Shawnee Bend Trail at Harry S. Truman Lake near Warsaw, Mo. The recently established 3-mile trail leads you on a meandering hike through mature oak timber that opens up to a breathtaking view of Truman Lake from a rock cliff 300 feet above Truman Lake. If you time it right you can see one of the best sunsets around. http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Harry-S-Truman-Lake/Trails/
2. Tent Camp, Wilson Lake, Wilson, Kan.
o Tent camping in the fall may be one of the best kept secrets at the lake. The cooler weather allows you to enjoy the comfy warmth of your campfire and sleeping bag. Sylvan Park at Wilson Lake has become quite the popular campground to stay at during the fall and winter months. Located below the dam near the river outlet the campground offers an intimate experience with nature. Do not be surprised when you wake up to wildlife just outside your tent. http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Lakes/Wilson-Lake/Sylvan-Park/
3. Fish for the mighty muskie, Pomme de Terre Lake, Hermitage Mo.
o Fall muskellunge (muskie) fishing at Pomme De Terre Lake provides a rare and unique opportunity. Muskies usually live in the cold waters of the northern United States, but Pomme de Terre Lake provides suitable habitat for the long, slender fish famous for their power and aggressiveness. For tips on fishing muskie go to https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/species/muskellunge/muskellunge-tips-fishing.
o Show how much you love our nation’s public lands by giving back on National Public Lands Day September 22, 2018. Check with your local Corps of Engineers lake or river office to see what you can do to give back or go to www.neefusa.org/npld/volunteers to find an event near you. If you miss out on NPLD you can still reach out to a Corps office and volunteer your help.
5. Stay at a Yurt, Melvern Lake, Melvern Kan.
o If the weather gets too cold for tent camping reserve a yurt with Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake. A yurt is a modern adaptation of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries. The compact shape of the yurt and combination of lightweight members in tension and compression mean that the structure is highly efficient in maximizing strength while minimizing the use of materials. All of the yurts at Eisenhower State Park come equipped with a bunk bed, futon, electricity, heat, and A/C. Outside, there is a BBQ grill, picnic table and water hydrant. To book a stay go to www.reserveamerica.com and search for Eisenhower State Park.
6. Visit a Marina or Resort, Rathbun Lake, Moravia, Iowa
o Whether you are looking to rent a boat for a day or are in search of good food and drink Rathbun Marina and Honey Creek Resort State Park have it all. Located at Rathbun Lake in southeast Iowa, Rathbun Marina and Honey Creek Resort State Park definitely have something for everyone. For more information or to book a stay go to www.rathbunlakemarina.com or www.honeycreekresort.com.
7. Watch Wildlife, Harlan County Lake, Republican City, Neb.
o With the looming onset of winter, wildlife becomes very active in the fall. There is no better way to see this come to life than the fall bird migration at Harlan County Lake in south central Nebraska. Hundreds of thousands of birds stop by the lake during the long migration south. This includes rare and endangered birds like the blue-footed booby, whooping cranes, piping plovers, and least terns as well as large majestic birds like golden or bald eagles and the white pelican. For more information visit http://harlantourism.org/activities_trails/birding.php.
8. Hunt the River, Missouri River in Kan. and Mo.
o As part of the Missouri River Recovery Program the Corps of Engineers purchased thousands of acres of land along the Missouri River in an effort to replace lost habitat. Now that the mitigation work is complete these sites offer excellent hunting opportunities to the public. The sites are scattered along the Missouri River in Kansas and Missouri offering deer, turkey, small game, waterfowl, and upland hunting. For more information go to http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/MRRP/
9. Golf, Clinton Lake, Lawrence, Kan.
o Spend a day at Clinton Lake golfing at Eagle Bend or playing disc golf at Bloomington Park. Located on the edge of Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers countless outdoor recreation activities this fall including golf and disc golf. Eagle Bend is an 18-hole golf course located below Clinton Lake that includes a full-service pro shop, snack bar, driving range, short iron range, and putting and chipping greens. For more information on Eagle Bend golf course go to https://lawrenceks.org/lprd/eaglebend/ . Bloomington Disc Golf Course is located in Bloomington Park near Clinton, KS. The disc golf course includes 18 baskets with concrete tee pads through a mixture of open and wooded fairways.
Please keep safety in mind as you go on your adventures.
The Kansas City District is a team of dedicated professionals with a strong heritage and proven results who, in collaboration with our partners, proudly serve in the Heartland providing leadership, technical excellence, and innovative solutions to the nation's most complex problems.