Story by Cheri Woodsmall
We’re a lake family. Show us a shoreline and cool, refreshing water and we are in! The tranquility of the water, the sounds of nature and the feeling of all being right with the world is what keeps us going back. Summer is here again, and there is no better place to be than on the water. Kansas City may be land locked, but that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing shorelines in the area! From private community lakes to public lakes, you can choose from hundreds of acres of beautiful boat-worthy water. So grab your kayak, canoe, paddleboard or Jet Ski! With over 20 area lakes to choose from in Kansas and Missouri, you are sure to find the perfect way to spend a hot summer day. Here are a few of our favorites!
Shawnee Mission Park is home to a gorgeous 120 acre lake surrounded by a multi-use 1200 acre park. There is plenty of activity on the water! Love to kayak? This is the spot! Or take the kids out for an adventuresome paddleboard afternoon! And the fun doesn’t stop there! The park also has eleven shelters, numerous picnic areas, nature trails, play areas, an archery range, a 53-acre dog off-leash area, a disc golf course, and is a great place to enjoy mountain biking and horseback riding. It’s also the largest park in the county and the most visited park in the entire state of Kansas.
One of our favorite lakes sits in a wonderful setting just 10 miles south of the metro. Hillsdale Lake attracts over 2 million visitors a year due to its awesome amenities and the amazing staff at Jayhawk Marina. Here you’ll find several choices for exciting water recreation, such as boat, Jet Ski, cabin rentals and our favorite little gem – a 20 ft pontoon boat for you and up to 9 of your friends! We can hear Little Big Town now, can’t you?
Located just 4 miles West of Lawrence, Clinton Lake is scenic and serene. It has one of the largest marinas in the state, a 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 and 4 playgrounds for the kids. Take the kiddos out August 8th for Kids Day where they will have Fishing Clinic, Archery Target Practice, Animal Show-n-Tell and Sunset Yoga! What a great place for family fun!
And don’t forget about Wyandotte County Lake Park boasting 1500 acres of fun, including a 400 acre lake and 16 picnic shelters.
Grab your gear and head over to one of the most popular swimming areas in Jackson County! Longview Lake offers 930 acres of water entertainment, 14 picturesque shelters, beautiful sandy beaches, certified lifeguards and a full service marina with boat rental, marine supplies and annual slip rental. Feeling adventurous? Windsurfing is permitted Monday through Thursday from sunrise to sunset!
Love to sail? Set sail on Lake Jacomo, where windsurfing and sailing enthusiasts come together on the breathtaking 970-acre lake located in the heart of Fleming Park in Jackson County. Enjoy beautiful multicolored sailboat regattas, while pontoon boaters take a calming cruise across the water. With a mandatory maximum horsepower for Lake Jacomo at 25 horsepower, you can canoe, kayak and paddle to your hearts content!
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t include the 720 acres of fun at Blue Springs Lake and Smithville Lake with its 7200 acres of water excitement, both with marinas and shelters – guaranteed to provide the perfect outing.
So grab the sunscreen and swimsuit! It’s time for a nice, relaxing, fun-in-the-sun staycation with family and friends! Get out of the city, the hustle-and-bustle, feel the sand between your toes and breathe the fresh air! The water is waiting! Happy Summer Kansas City!