Spring officially began on Saturday, March 20, and there are plenty of places nearby for Johnson Countians to enjoy the outdoors this season.
And after a year in which we’ve all been told to stay at home for large chunks of time, we may be ready to get away, if even for a day.
While there are a number of local parks and trails to enjoy — such as the Turkey Creek and Rock Creek Streamway Trails, Meadowbrook Park and Shawnee Mission Park — some may be itching to get out of Johnson County for a bit.
Below is our list of a few outdoorsy day trips — all of which are close enough to Johnson County to drive there and back in a day — and still enjoy spring for a few hours in between.
If we missed a good spot to get outside that’s within an hour’s drive of Johnson County, let us know by emailing email@example.com.
About 45 minutes west of Johnson County, Clinton Lake State Park offers a number of outdoor activities to partake in from trails and dog parks to fishing and camping — there’s something for everyone.
If you’re a fan of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden but are looking to switch it up, check out Powell Gardens. Located about an hour away near Lee’s Summit, there are seven gardens for the public to enjoy. The gardens reopen on April 1.
Wells Overlook Park
Donated to Douglas County by William Wells in 1971, Wells Overlook Park features an observation tower that looks over the city of Lawrence. There are also picnic tables, a playground and a short hiking trail.
Weston Bend State Park
Only a 45-minute drive north of Johnson County, Weston Bend State Park offers a number of activities like camping, trails, a dog park, fishing and even a historic site tour. There’s also a 3-mile, paved bike trail that is a journey “through the park’s woody terrain,” according to the website.
Prairie Park Nature Center and The Baker Wetlands
Another Lawrence attraction — The Prairie Park Nature Center, a 100-acre nature preserve featuring “wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats and a five-acre lake,” according to the website. While you’re there, stop by The Baker Wetlands for birdwatching and stargazing.