Winter Activities at Cedar Bluff State Park

We’ve had an amazing winter, with several snowstorms transforming our landscape into a shimmering white wonderland. At Cedar Bluff State Park, our summer playground has become an icy recreation area for those adventurers who love to get out and explore during cold months.

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Hiking on the Agave Ridge Trail

Head to the Agave Ridge Trail, accessed in the Page Creek Area, to begin your exploration of our park. The one-mile paved portion of the trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore the area and find the many types of wildlife that live in the park. This beginning stretch of the trail contains interpretative signs and a representation of the area’s native habitats and can be completed in approximately 20 minutes.

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The more ambitious hiker will enjoy the expanded four-mile, primitive section of the trail which winds through the mixed grass prairie. This area provides a great opportunity to view many wildlife species, and can be completed in approximately 90 minutes. Both portions of the trail are open to the public for hiking and are lined on the west with a half-mile of the 100-foot cedars that give our park its name.

Wildlife Photographers Paradise

Life abounds around our reservoir in winter! Cedar Bluff Reservoir is home to a variety of creatures, large and small. Bald eagles and white-tailed deer are great subjects for your wildlife photography. Get here early to watch animals go about their daily hunt for food or look down to find their tracks in the snow. In the coming weeks ducks and geese will soon be bringing even more activity to the park as they fight for dominance and establish their territorial boundaries.

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Winter Fishing

Winter fishing for walleye and crappie at Cedar Bluff State Park has been excellent this year. Our lake has benefited from all the precipitation we’ve been receiving, with water levels rising just over five feet! There are many great fish attractor areas that present fishermen with great chances to catch that elusive “big one.”

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On the Hunt

During the 2018-2019 season we’ve seen hunters from as far as Maine and Florida visiting our park due to the amazing opportunities for bird hunting that are being reported. Our county has claimed Kansas’s number one spot waterfowl hunting this year and quail numbers are continuing to rise due to the ample rainfall that produced quality food sources and good habitats. Stay alert during the hunt and keep within the boundaries of the wildlife section and Page Creek area where hunting activity is allowed.

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Cedar Bluff’s Newest Attraction

Our archery range is a new addition to the park, with targets ranging from  20, 30, 40, 50,  and 60yds. At this time, it is field point only range (no broadheads) and no crossbows but rangers are looking to add Crossbow and Broadhead targets soon. Get your aim straight and true as you try out our latest challenge!

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Experience Winter at Cedar Bluff State Park!

Cedar Bluff State Parkis open every day and vehicle permits are required to access the Agave Trail, please, follow the state park rules and regulations. Come outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy winter at Trego County’sCedar Bluff State Park!

Hunting Season Returns to Trego County

All across Trego County our fields are filled with the calls of upland birds alerting hunters to the 2018-2019 hunting season.

The Smoky Hill region has 75,576 acres of public land and 362,936 acres of Walk-in Hunting Access(WIHA) grounds open to hunters this fall. We’ve compiled the latest assessment of the pheasant, deer, turkey and quail populations in our region to give you insight into what to expect when you go hunting this fall in Trego County.

 

Upland Birds

Good opportunities await ring-neck pheasant hunters despite a slight decrease in pheasant crows last spring and summer. Regardless of that fact, the Smoky Hills had the highest roadside density in the state, with last year’s Smoky Hills harvest estimates the highest in the region, according to KS Outdoors.

Rios Turkey

Declining Rios turkey populations across much of the state are stabilizing, presenting hunting opportunities that are better than they have been for a long time. Overall populations are relatively strong and you should expect to find fair to good numbers of Rios in our area.

Bobwhite Quail

Hunting prospects for bobwhite quail should be fair to good throughout the region this year, following on the heels of very high densities over the past three years. The Smoky Hill region retained the highest roadside index for quail in 2018, better than the average when compared to other regions across the northcentral part of the state.

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Image by: YathinS Krishnappa

Whitetail and Mule Deer

The general populations of whitetail and mule deer remain fairly average and trends continue to be stable, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, with an estimated 627,000 whitetails and 46,000 mule deer in residence. This indicates hunters have a chance at older bucks, according to Outdoor Life.

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Book Your Stay Today!

Make WaKeeney your home base during your hunting expedition. With seven lodges, hotels, and B & Bs, you’ll find a comfortable place to call your home away from home.

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There are hotels to fit every hunter’s needs in WaKeeney. The Best Western Plus WaKeeney Inn & Suites, Kansas Kountry Inn, Super 8, and EconoLodge are located close to Downtown WaKeeney and the WaKeeney KOA (open until November 15) is a great option for hunters with campers.

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Butterfield Trail Bunkhouse is a rustic guesthouse near Cedar Bluff State Park where hunting opportunities abound. The bunkhouse accommodates up to 4 people and there is a fully stocked kitchen and a cleaning station available to prepare your pheasants for the trip home. Don’t forget to pre-order your home cooked meals when you book your stay.

The Country Barn Loft B & B is located only a few miles north of Cedar Bluff State Park and Reservoir. Their suites offer a kitchenette and homemade breakfasts that are delivered hot to your door. There is also boarding available for your dogs.

The Farm House is a comfortable country home specially designed for hunters. They offer breakfast and evening meals upon request, and on-site sheds are ready for your dogs.

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Restaurants

End your day out at one of WaKeeney’s many delicious restaurants, where you’ll find great steaks, baked goods, burgers, and beer.

 

Casual Dining

Start your day at Hometown Bakery. Get there early to enjoy a freshly made cinnamon roll and fresh brewed coffee while you check your email on their free WiFi. (215 N Main St. /ph. 785-743-6496)

The Brazen Bull offers delicious steaks, burgers, sandwiches and salads and beer in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. They’re open for lunch and dinner and feature mouth-watering specials every day. (717 S 2nd St./ph. 785-743-2653)

Enjoy western ambiance and great food at the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill. This modern day “saloon” is a WaKeeney hot spot that offers steak, pasta, burgers, salads, and sandwiches, along with a fully stocked bar . (121 N Main St./785-743-2050)

Satisfy your spicy cravings at Tropical Mexican Restaurant. They have all your favorite Mexican dishes, plus a full bar that will satisfy that “South of the Border” craving.  (428 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2219)

Mike’s Place is a fun pub where people can kick back while they enjoy a cold beer and pub grub over a game of pool in Mike’s game room. Their menu is full of regular daily specials that feature local favorites and they always have ice-cold beer on tap and ready for their guests. (111 N 6th St./785-743-2641)

Jake and Chet’s Cafe and the Sundowner Lounge are open all day tofill you up from breakfast to a late-night appetizer over drinks. Rib eyes cooked to order, southern fried catfish, or an all-American burger follow by a slice of pie a la mode is sure to satisfy you after a long day out in the field. (233 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2211)

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Fast Food

The Dairy Queen offers a classic menu with salads, wraps, sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers. Pair your meal with a shake, malt, or a Blizzard for a cool treat. (521 Barclay Avenue/ph. 785-743-2160)

McDonald’s is everyone’s favorite fast food. In WaKeeney, thedrive thru window makes it a quick stop, or you can get out and stretch your legs inside in their dining room. (745 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2911)

Planning a long day out? Stop by the WaKeeney’s Subway as you head out of town and pick up a custom-made foot-long sandwich to enjoy later when those hunger pains kick up. (718 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-5248)

Pizza Hut is a local go-to for fast delivery in WaKeeney. Call in your order on your way into town and pick up a fresh-from-the-oven pizza to take back to your hotel. (324 S 1st/ph. 785-743-2383 – Call ahead to find out when their buffet is running!)

 

 

Pokemon Go at Cedar Bluff State Park

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We’ve been invaded! Pokémon Go has come to Trego County and taken over Cedar Bluff State Park, but don’t worry—Saturday, October 1st is open season on the pesky virtual critters and the park is holding an event to bring out hunters, young and old.

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 Pokemon Flyer.jpgPokémon Go, first featured on Nintendo Game Boys, has a long history of being tracked, captured, and trained. Today’s mobile version takes those same challenges outside, placing the characters all around you via your mobile device’s GPS system, so, now it’s your family’s turn to ferret the characters out. Download the app here, then head out on the trail with your cell phones to locate hundreds of Pokémon you’ll see overlaid on our beautiful prairie landscape through your cell phone’s screen.

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Trego - Pokemon.jpgThere will be ten Pokémon Stops and three Gyms to be found in the Bluffton Area Campground on the North side and two Pokémon Stops and one Gym in the Page Creek Park on the South side. For Saturday’s event park officials will be placing additional Lure Modules in three different Pokestops throughout the Bluffton Area Campground during the hours of 10am to 8pm.

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This event is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas in honor of Healthy Trails Day and AmeriCorp Members will be available to answer any questions you might have. No Vehicle permits will be required but camping fees will apply. Make sure to show up with a charged phone (free charging will be available in non-reserved electrical campsites) and Wifi will be available at spots throughout the park.

Join us this Saturday, October 1st for Cedar Bluff State Park’s very first Pokémon Go hunt!

Bicycle Broncs Ride the Range at Cedar Bluff State Park

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Saddle up bicycle cowboys and girls, and get ready for the Bike Rodeo at Cedar Bluff State Park this Saturday, September 24th!

Park officials are celebrating National Bike In Your Park Day with a morning dedicated to the joys of bicycling and the safety needed to make all your two-wheeled journeys memorable experiences.

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The event begins at 9am in the Overland Campground parking lot where officers from the Trego County police force will be on hand to provide bicycle safety inspections and school bicyclists of all ages in on and off road safety.

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Once you’ve got the basics down take your bike and head out on the trail! We have paved trails for leisurely rides and a BMX course for the thrill seekers. The Agave Ridge Trail is a great ride, taking you through beautiful natural settings where you’re sure to see an abundance of wildlife.

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Join us Saturday, September 24th from 9am to 11am at Cedar Bluff State Park’s Bike Rodeo! Children will need to be accompanied by an adult and everyone must bring their own bike and helmet in order to participate. Vehicle permits are still required to get into the park and you can register for the event when you purchase your permit. And, don’t miss out on registering to win a bike in their drawing!

A Relaxing Labor Day Spent at Cedar Bluff State Park

Sunshine warms you and a wisp of a breeze carries the first scent of fall. The birds are chirping as waves roll across a sandy beach. So often this is the daydream we imagine as we sit behind a desk. It’s a paradise we believe is a million miles away, but not this Labor Day weekend!

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

Cedar Bluff State Park is the perfect place to recharge this Labor Day weekend. With the amount of rain we’ve had this year the water is high, the bluffs are green and the wildflowers have brightened up the landscape.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

There’s plenty of open water for jet skiing, wind-surfing, wake boarding, swimming, and fishing.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

Agave Ridge Trail on the lake’s south shore will be open for people who are looking to get close to nature on an even, open trail, and birders have a great chance to spot some of their favorite species at Page Creek.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

Bring your picnic basket. There are plenty of spaces to sit down together with family and friends to enjoy a bite under the shade of a tree.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

Our campgrounds will be lively with the great people who’ve made Cedar Bluff their home away from home all summer long. You’ll find a sandy beach area and a full service shower house there, making it one of the park’s most active spots.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

Stop to smell the Maximilian sunflowers. They are a bright spark of color just outside the door of the rentable cabins and they beautifully compliment the blue water of Cedar Bluff.

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Photo courtesy of WaKeeney.org

At the end of the day, take in the awe-inspiring site of a Western Kansas sunset. Our state is famous for being one of the best places in the world to watch this amazing daily event, and we couldn’t agree more.

This Labor Day give yourself a break by spending the day outside at Cedar Bluff State Park. It’s the perfect ending to this amazing summer!

Raising the Flag for a Great Fourth of July in WaKeeney

Whiz! Bang! Pop! The skies above Trego County will be lit up with fireworks as bright as the stars when we celebrate this great nation’s Independence Day on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

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The weather has been kind to us this year, providing a lush landscape and a safe environment to fire off not one, not two, but three great fireworks shows throughout the July Fourth weekend!

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Photo courtesy of WaKeeney Mini Speedway

July 1st at the WaKeeney Mini Speedway

Kids big and small get into the act at the WaKeeney Mini Speedway, when racers kick off their Fourth of July celebration with exciting action on the ground and in the skies. Starting at 6pm, these races are always a favorite of families and this year it’s a perfect way to enjoy the holiday together. Afterwards, stick around for a free fireworks show sponsored by WaKeeney’s local businesses.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park

July 2nd at Cedar Bluff State Park

It’s sure to be an amazing site worthy of celebrating America’s birth when fireworks fill the skies over beautiful Cedar Bluff State Park. Watch one of Western Kansas’s awe-inspiring sunsets fade into night, only to be replaced with fireworks zipping through the air and fanning out into great arches of color just before millions of twinkling stars make their appearance for the night. You’ll want to bring your sweetie to share this special moment. The event is free for families who have an annual KDWPT vehicle permit or passport, and only $5 per vehicle for the general public (cash only).

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Photo courtesy of Photos by Red

July 3rd at the WaKeeney Speedway

The pop of the starters gun gets the festivities started at the WaKeeney Speedway. Squealin’ wheels, and powerful roars will have the crowd on their feet to cheer on their favorite drivers. Afterwords, the City of WaKeeney is sponsoring a Fourth of July fireworks show that is sure to be as thrilling in the skies as the races are down on the track. Grandstands open at 5pm and races begin at 6:30pm.

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Plan your weekend celebrating Independence Day with us in Trego County!

Let Your Kids Explore Their Wild Side at Cedar Bluff State Park’s Annual OK Kids Day!

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff OK Kids Day Facebook Page.

Schools out for the summer and it is time for kids to get outside and explore their world! At Cedar Bluff State Park’s Outdoor Kansas Kids Day event children of all ages can explore and be inspired by nature, with events tailored-made to encourage learning and fun under the big, beautiful Trego County sky. 

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook page.

We all remember those endless summer days spent outside, when fun and excitement was just outside our front door. We rode bikes all day, splashed around in cooling waters, and set out to find adventure on a newly discovered dirt path. It’s the magic that makes our childhood memories so special, and at Cedar Bluff’s annual OK Kids Day all those same great memories are waiting to be made by the next generation.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook page.

The older groups can prepare for the upcoming hunting season during a Deer Shed Hunt as they receive proper shotgun safety and shooting instructions. Later, they’ll put that knowledge and skill to the test in two different events, Laser Hunting Simulator and a Trap Shooting event (materials supplied).  

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook page.

During the Fishing Derby they can perfect their casting at Pa’s Pond, a stocked fishing pond for families and the disabled. Engineering skills will be put to the test during the Model Boat Making event, where they’ll design and create a river-worthy miniature vessel to sail to the opposite shore. Children five and under can test their patience during a Minnow Catching hunt, which I’m sure will prove to be a challenge to the energetic kids.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook page.

And, don’t forget to go on the hunt during the Geocaching challenge and chase down clues in a race to find a treasure at the end of the line! And, don’t forget the hot dog feed for all the participants. 

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook page.

Bring your kids to Cedar Bluff’s Outdoor Kansas Kids Day! Events will be held in Bluffton Park on Saturday, June 18th from 9am to 3pm. There will be free vehicle entrance into the park that day and plenty of lake action to keep the adults and kids active all day long.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Bluff State Park’s Facebook Page

But wait, there’s more! Cedar Bluff State Park hasn’t left out the grown-up kids. This weekend, June 4-5, is Free Fishing Day for anglers of every age So, dig up those worms, grab your pole and enjoy a day out at the lake.  No fishing licenses will be required this weekend, but camping and vehicle permits will still required.

Kids Camp Comes to Cedar Bluff State Park

Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for some good times? If your kids are looking for fun in the sun this summer reserve their spot at Cedar Bluff State Park’s first ever Summer Camp!

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Photo provided by Cedar Bluff State Park

Hiking, fishing, birding, and good ol’ fashioned fun are on the agenda throughout the summer months at the camp, where fun activities will provide thrilling adventure, fascinating facts about nature, and great new friendships, too!

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Photo provided by Cedar Bluff State Park

Alongside the usual summer fun, there are many age appropriate activities planned to provide kids with an appreciation for the environment and help foster a lifelong love of learning about the flora and fauna found on the Trego County prairie.

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Photo provided by Cedar Bluff State Park

The camp will be held on nine Saturdays this summer from 9am to 11am. The people at Cedar Bluff have scheduled the camp to coincide with some of their best summer events happening on Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July, so families can celebrate the day at the lake together. Drop-ins are welcome, but sign up your child before May 28th and they’ll receive a T-shirt for a souvenir.

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Photo provided by Cedar Bluff State Park

If you want to give your kids a chance to make their own special memories this summer plan for them to attend Summer Camp at Cedar Bluff State Park. Just download the form from their Facebook page and return it with payment to Amber McLaughlin at the park office. (Return instructions and registration fee information are on the form.) Then sit back and wait for tales of fun and excitement from the first ever Cedar Bluff State Park Summer Camp!

Celebrate Earth Day at Cedar Bluff State Park

Trego - Earth Day.jpgThere’s been a lot of rain in Western Kansas lately, and it shows in our green hills, colorful wildflowers, and the rushing waters of our creeks and streams. To celebrate this beautiful awakening of our prairie come out to Cedar Bluff State Park this Saturday, April 23rd for their Earth Day hike!

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Bring your binoculars, because there are many chances to spot wildlife throughout the park. Look for deer and rabbits racing across higher ground, and along the creek bed keep your eyes peeled for frisky fish flip-flopping in the water. And for the “birders” in your family, you’ll also want to put on your listening ears so to overhear the conversations of the many songbirds that live in our park, like meadowlarks and red-winged blackbirds, and birds of prey, like eagles and hawks.

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Stop by the Park Office first so your kids can make their own trail mix and a backyard bird feeder, then head the White Tail Camp Area to find Agave Ridge’s trailhead. It’s a five-mile, partially paved, level walking trail located on the south side of Cedar Bluff, our most untouched setting. There are many shade trees and beautiful views of the white limestone bluffs along the trail, so all hiking levels are accommodated.

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Celebrate the beauty of our planet and the Trego County prairie at the Cedar Bluff State Park’s-Earth Day celebration. The Park Office will be open from 8am to 4pm, with activities for the kids and maps for the grown-ups. Vehicle entrance to the park will be free all day, so plan to stick around for one of Kansas’s world famous sunsets!Trego - Earth Day.png