Outdoor Activities

Oh Manhattan! Oh-so-tremendous outdoors

Kansas provides a beautiful landscape for outdoor activities, with an abundance of space on Manhattan's doorstep. Location-wise, Manhattan is tucked into the lovely, rolling Flint Hills of the Great Plains. A drive from eastern locations drops a traveler into a scenic, plentiful valley. Coming from the west, catch a striking glimpse of the Kansas River, which meanders east into the city.

Kayak the Kaw. Golf at wonderfully scenic Colbert Hills. Pop out to the Konza. Tuttle Creek activities are always in season. Hunt, fish, take the dog for a run ... options exist in, around and just outside of Manhattan. Reminisce on the beauty and plan your return for another trip.


Manhattan City Parks & Recreation Facilities

28 Parks. Fantastic amenities. Year-round enjoyment! Relax under a large, shade tree or picnic at one of 20 shelters. Kids enjoy the afternoon at any of 13 playgrounds, three pools, City Park splash park feature. Fish at 5-acre stocked Jerry Dishman Lake, Anneberg Park. Team sports? Manhattan's parks boast an abundance of athletic fields and courts. 

Interactive map 

Bird watching

Take birding and wildlife trip to the Kansas Birding Festival for lasting memories. Experienced tour guides give expert analysis on trips to prairie chicken booming grounds: Konza Prairie, Milford wetlands, Kansas Landscape Arboretum and much more. 
Updated list scheduled events
Kansas Birding Festival

Milford Lake Reservoir

  • 30 minutes west, Manhattan
  • Kansas’ largest lake (163-mile shoreline, 16,000-plus surface acres)
  • Lake, surrounding 21,000 acres Kansas’ prime outdoor habitats

U.S. Corps of Engineers Information Center
Milford State Park

Water Sports 

Tuttle Creek Lake is located five miles north of Manhattan with the reservoir situated on the northern edge of the Flint Hills. The lake area offers 12,000 acres of water with 100 miles of wooded shoreline. Eleven parks present wide range of options for overnight camping pads, beaches, comfort stations, boat launching ramps, utility hookups and picnic tables. Also available for lake visitors: full service marina, nature and equestrian trails, disc golf course, cabin rental and areas for off-road enthusiasts (user fees may apply). Picnic shelters available for group events at Tuttle Creek Lake. 


Activities abound for a splashdown to water fun on the Kansas River. The river runs through the south and east side of Manhattan, with readily accessible points of access. You name it: canoe, float, kayak, paddleboard or fish along the river, the opportunities to cut your own wake are plentiful. Note: The Kaw is a big river and not appropriate for novice and beginning paddlers if running above 5,000 cubic feet/second. Please exercise caution and enjoy your water activity.


Paddling aplenty   Kansas Canoe and Kayak Association

Reserve group shelters, River Pond State Park
Tuttle Creek State Park


  • Spillway Cycle Area: 45-acre park boasts several challenging trails (exclusive to ATV/motorcycle)
  • Tuttle Creek off-road vehicle area: 310-acre park featuring miles of steep, rugged trails for all vehicles 

Shooting Ranges 

Fancy Creek

Outdoor pistol range (10-20 meters) and rifle range (50-100 meters). Hunters can sight in a scope or target shoot (north of Randolph). 
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., first/third weekends; fourth Thursday of every month. 785-539-7941
Friends of Fancy Creek Range

Tuttle Creek Shooting Park
  • Clubhouse, instructions, tournaments, traps
  • ATA trap, Wobble trap, 5-stand sporting clays (with pro sports shop, gun rental)
  • Open 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Tuttle Creek, 6364 Tuttle Creek Blvd.