Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cross Timbers State Park

Cross Timbers State Park is located in southeast Kansas. The park is known for it's "ancient" trees, some of which are over 400 years old. Grant and I went with my family in 2012 and had a really great time. We hiked, kayaked, swam, and discovered brownie s'mores (roast a marshmellow and split a brownie in half and boom brownie s'more, it's amazing!). It's the perfect place to spend a weekend or a few days during the summer!

The Cabins at Lake Toronto are really affordable and perfect for an outdoors adventure without the hassle of camping. The cabin we stayed in slept up to 8 people. They are not terribly big but it worked out great because we really only slept and prepared food in the cabin. The rest of our time was spent outdoors. 
The cabins range from $65-$105 a night depending on the season and day of the week. 
Front porch of the cabin that faced Lake Toronto

There are a variety of trails around Lake Toronto and in Cross Timbers State Park. The majority of the trails are less than 2 miles long, but there are a few longer ones, like the Chautauqua Hills Trail. We really enjoyed the hiking but that specific year the tick count was really high. We used heavy duty tick repellent and were lucky to not get any. As well as the marked trails, the park was a lot of fun to explore. Grant, Kayla (my sister), and I really enjoyed exploring some large rocks near the lake. 
Chautauqua Hills Trailhead 

When we went, there was kayaking available for no cost.  We spent an evening kayaking on the lake and down one of the coves. We saw a lot of wild life, like deer on the shore, while we were on the water. There may have even been a few friendly races throughout the evening. Going later in the day was smart because we avoided the late June heat.

Kayaking on Lake Toronto

We also enjoyed swimming in Lake Toronto. It was the perfect way to cool off in the hot afternoons, after a morning of hiking. The swimming area was nice and there weren't very many people.

Lake Toronto was beautiful and we really enjoyed our time here. Grant was able to bring his bike and ride on some of the roads, while I highly enjoyed running around the lake. It was a wonderful trip.

Where is your favorite lake to go during the summer? Comment below!

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