Often thought of as the heart of the Heartland, Wichita, Kansas, is well-known for its western history, high-quality beef, and place as the Aviation capital of the world. In this traditional but innovative town renowned for its pioneering spirit, there’s plenty to impress — but did you know that in addition to its American cuisine, aviation prowess and historical significance, Wichita boasts some of the most beautiful and fun-filled parks in the state?
The city and its surrounding area offer more than 80 Wichita parks and recreation areas, most of which stay open to the public all year. Whether you’re looking for a scenic escape into nature, a place to enjoy outdoor activities, or a pretty setting for a family picnic, these five parks near Wichita, Kansas, offer you so much to enjoy.
1. Sedgwick County Park
Situated in the west of Wichita by the Sedgwick County Zoo, this is one of the best parks in Wichita, KS, for those who love the outdoors. With four lakes for fishing and swimming and a variety of walking and hiking trails, this park has no shortage of scenic views or opportunities for activities. It also boasts playgrounds, picnic benches, grills, and gazebos for kids and families to enjoy at their leisure. Dog walkers, outdoor enthusiasts, families, and exercisers alike have a multitude of options on this park’s extensive grounds.
2. Riverside and Oak Parks
Part of a four-park system forming the heart of Wichita’s parks, the Riverside parks surround the Little Arkansas River in its route through the Midtown and Riverside neighborhoods.
The first Riverside park is Central Riverside, which offers playgrounds and gazebos for families, a wildlife exhibit, a splash park, and an open-air stage for the summer months. South Riverside Park offers tennis courts and a boat ramp for river access, while North Riverside park gives you access to the historic Park Villa and picnic space near the river. Just north, Oak Park is filled with tree-lined space, walking areas, and a disc-golfing course.
3. O.J. Watson Park
Developed and landscaped to provide a lovely waterpark area providing boating and fishing, this Wichita park also offers playgrounds, picnic areas, campfire circles, and seasonal hayrack and pony rides.
4. Chisholm Creek Park
Known for its fantastic natural beauty, Chisholm Creek Park offers visitors an untouched section of nature with scenic views and spectacular photo opportunities. Ride your bike, plan a picnic, or take a peaceful walk around this park’s gorgeous 282 acres.
5. Herman Hill Park
Located in South Wichita on the Arkansas River, Herman Hill Park is a pleasant wooded area with an 18-hole course for disc golf, a kids’ play area, and a unique water treatment demonstration project.
Whether you’re taking your kids out for the day or looking for a scenic setting to read or go on a walk, you’ll enjoy exploring these inspiring Wichita parks. When you’re hungry after your day outside, stop by Chisholm’s Beef & Ale House for a hearty Wichita meal.