Johnson County, Kansas, has lots of nice walking paths. Three of them are within the confines of this park, administered by Johnson County Parks and Recreation District. In recent years, the district has upgraded the park's visitor center, now a great place to take the kids.
Bittersweet Trail is a short, easy asphalt trail with benches. Old South Trail is 1 3/4 mile with rest stops. Ridge Trail is a primitave trail over uneven terrain and is 3/4 mile in length.
More pictures are posted on my Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center travelogue.
Olathe's City Hall is worthy of mention because of its attractive design, and even more because of its surrounding art work, gardens, and sculpture. If you happen to be in the downtown area, it's worth taking a few minutes to admire the site.
There is very little left of America's native tall grass prairie. This 300 acre park, located just west of Olathe, contains two sections of the remaining tall grass prairie plus a small lake, gently meandering creek, and some woodland. On my one visit to this nature preserve, I walked for about an hour, observing turkey, deer, and a beaver, in addition to the numerous birds and wildflowers. Several families were seen enjoying the natural surroundings while hiking, fishing, and picnicking. There are six miles of trails for walking or cross-country skiing. The preserve is maintained and administered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and is the last surviving stgecoach on the Santa Fe Trail that is still open to the public. Three buildings and 20 acres remain of the original 570 owned by J.B. and Lucinda Mahaffie. During the 1860s, Mrs. Mahaffie served meals to passengers in the basement.
If possible, plan your visit to coincide with one of the special events at the farmstead: Civil War on the Border in April, Fiesta Bullwhacker the first weekend of June, Wild West Weekend the last weekend in September, or Victorian Christmas the first Saturday of December.
From April through December, the site is open for tours 10am to 4pm Monday -Saturday, noon to 4pm Sundays. Admission fee is small.
The attached photo does not do the site justice. I arrived on a Saturday afternoon just after 4:00, so had to settle for a picture from a distance at a poor angle. Hopefull, I can get back out there soon to get a better picture.
I grew up going to this park all the time. It's a 10 minute walk from my house. The nature center has educational exhibits inside, but the best thing to do is walk the trails around the park. There are deer, beavers, raccoons, birds, wildflowers. Eat picnic lunches, sit on a the bridge. My best friend and I always wanted to make a scary movie running through the deeper trails.
It usually takes place in August,Thera re a lot of booths selling crafts,churches sell corn,water I mean food,people from Chile play their national music & sell their flutes & CD's.Merry -go -round's for kid's& a lot of happy smiles!As for Olathe is a place where everyone smiles & always say" Hi" ,very nice place!We miss it very much!
If you don't want to spend time to get to The Missouri river(around 1.5-2hours).There is an option.There are several ponds in Olathe.It's so nice to have a picnic over there, or feed geese & ducks,,or walk around it,or catch a big fish!
The plaque near this whimsical yet touching sculpture reads:
CHILDREN OF THE TRAILS
Artist: Kwan Wu
Perhaps the greatest test of the pioneers' spirit was the loss of children like Asa Smith to the harsh and unforgiving elements of the frontier. His tiny marker stands today at the intersection of K-10 and K-7 highways. It is joined by this sculpture created in the loving memory of every child lost along the trails as families faced the unknown, blazing our nation's westward growth.
MNU is the newest of the colleges and universities in the US operated by the Church of the Nazarene, so don't expect to see a campus with venerated old, ivy-covered castles of learning. The university does provide, however, a fine Christ-centered curriculum, and is especially noted for its programs in nursing, education, and religion. Sports-wise, it has fielded very strong men's basketball and football (NAIA Division 2) in recent years.
It was nice to have a picnic in a park with a view to the Missouri river.Spring in Kansas is wonderful!
Good shoes are must.If you have a child you need to take your stroller or rent it from the zoo.Little Evangeline was really tired.
Evangeline just loved watching farm animals & even tried to touch the bull! The have a small pond with fish that attracts not only kids & adults too