Topeka’s Natural Attractions

If you want to get out and see some of Kansas’ great outdoors than a stay in Topeka will put you in easy distance of some great sights. Anyone looking to experience some beautiful scenery and give themselves a gentle bit of exercise should definitely look into taking a stroll along the Kansas Historical Society’s Nature Trail. The trail, which is situated in western Topeka consists of four different sections. The eastern section is made up of a 2.5 mile long circuit which takes in creeks, grasslands and woodlands. As you walk along you’ll come across signs imparting interesting facts both about the natural history and the cultural significance of the sights you’ll see on the way. On the north trail you’ll pass through more woodland, whilst the south will take you down to the charming Stach School, a one room building of historical interest where you can see just how far education has come in the last couple of hundred years. The path to the west will take you over a series of bridges, including the Wea Creek Bridge, which is one of the only bridges featuring a Bowstring Arch Truss design still in use today. (The faint of heart should probably also be aware that one of the three bridges is of the rope variety, but don’t worry, it’s a lot safer than the ones you’ve seen in adventure movies!). There’s some great wildlife in the area that you might be lucky enough to catch sight of whilst out on the trail. In the prairie and alongside the banks of the creek you could spot a number of smaller animals as well as larger mammals such as the white tailed deer. If you’ve got an ornithological streak, keep an eye out for meadowlarks and red-tailed hawks. You might even see a wild turkey roving about. Another prime spot you should drop in on is Shawnee Lake. There are a range of places there in which to relax and it makes an ideal setting for a picnic. There’s a swimming beach as well as facilities for organised sports if you’d like to indulge in a game of tennis or volleyball. If you’d like to appreciate the view from the water head down to the marina and take a boat out or, if you have the requisite skills, you could go windsurfing. If you really want to get out on the water and enjoy yourself, try kayaking or canoeing down the Kansas River. At the Kaw River State Park, as well as enjoying a variety of hikes and mountain bike rides you can take through the 76 acres of...

Read More

Sporting Events in Topeka

If, as a sports fanatic, you find yourself in Topeka with a yearning to see some competitive action, don’t worry. As well as a host of regular sporting events, there’s a variety of events that carry more of the local flavour that will satisfy that urge. It would be downright neglectful to talk about sports in Topeka without bringing up the races that take place at the motorsports Mecca that is Heartland Park. Here you can see dirt track, drag strip and road course racing amongst other events. This year in May, over the Memorial Day weekend, the NHRA Kansas Nationals will be held at Heartland Park, where petrol heads can get a three day fix of high octane action, including some fastest funny cars in the world. If you’d rather see something a little more unusual then you might want to check out steer wrestling. If you’ve no idea what that actually involves, it’s basically an event in which a cowboy, mounted on his faithful steed, chases down a steer and makes and acrobatic leap from the horse to the steer. He then proceeds to wrestle the latter to the ground by its horns. As you may have picked up from the description, it’s quite a spectacle and not the safest of sports. Indeed, there are only five regional steer wrestling events that take place, and one of them is held at Topeka’s Domer Livestock Arena in January. There’s more at the same venue in the same month in the form of the PRCA Championship Rodeo, where you can see roping, bronc riding and all other sorts of events that you’d expect of a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event. If you want something with an equestrian theme but at a little bit more relaxed of a pace, then you might want to head down to the Kansas State Horseshoe Tournament which takes place at the end of August. Horseshoe pitching is a serious business at this event, with contenders all eager to take the crown. It takes place in Gage Park which, if you take a look at some of our other articles, you’ll see is already overflowing with family friendly attractions. Another sporting family event that makes for a great day out is the Sunflower State Games. They run for three consecutive weekends during July and feature a huge range of events, from martial arts, to bowling, sand volleyball to orienteering. It’s open to all age groups and ability levels and is all about inclusivity and fun. Whatever sort of sport you prefer, the likelihood is that it’ll be on at the games, which give the Olympics...

Read More