We kicked off our camping season last weekend. I have been itching to go out since the beginning of March but the weather has remained unpredictable and uncooperative. Just accepting the fact that we are not likely to be handed perfect camping weather we just made a decision to go.
We were booked to travel to Tuttle Creek State Park in Manhattan, Kansas to see our son for his fraternities “Mom’s Weekend.” However, he had to cancel so he could attend a life guarding course. With a heavy heart, we made the decision to cancel those reservations and just made a last minute decision to stay local and try out a new (new to us) campground very close to our camper storage.
We booked ourselves at the Blue Springs Campground near Blue Springs Lake. This is a Jackson County Parks and Rec park. The campground has 39 electric sites, 13 sites with water and electricity, and 30 full hook up sites (some 30 amp and some 50 amp). The camping fees are very reasonable: $23 a night for electric only, $26 for water and electricity, and $30 a night for full hook ups. The campground has several “family sites” throughout the park. All of the sites are gravel pads and come with a picnic table and a fire pit.
We booked ourselves into space #30 as it was close to the playground that we knew our daughter would want to spend her time at. When we arrived, we learned that spots #28 and #30 were a “family site.” Family sites are great if you are indeed camping with family or even close friends, but we were not. The very polite and kind campground host offered to move us to a new site (#32) to give all of us some space. Since the park was not nearly full, we all appreciated his efforts. Next time, I will make sure to exercise care when reading the map, although I will say, it was not marked as a family site.
Our weekend at Blue Springs Campground was very low key. Our goals for the weekend consisted of organizing for the year, un-winterizing the camper, and generally just cleaning. We spent a lot of time indoors watching movies and actually just relaxing. Saturday we had several friends come to the campsite and we were able to enjoy a dutch oven meal and a campfire.
In talking to the campground host they described this campground as a hidden gem in Kansas City. The campground is so close to many Kansas City area attractions:
- 10 miles to Harry S. Truman’s Library and Museum
- 11 miles to Kauffman Stadium (home to the World Champions Kansas City Royals)
- 17 miles to Union Station, Liberty Memorial, National World War I Museum, Crown Center, Hallmark’s Kaleidoscope or LegoLand.
- 19 miles to Westport, the Plaza, Nelson Adkins Museum of Art, or Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
- 26 miles to IKEA
You kinda get the idea. The park is in a good location, a few miles south of Interstate 70, right off of 291 Highway making it very accessible. We decided even if the girls had sporting events we could go camping and still make the games. We even learned that the campground has a “frequent camper” reward program (which by now you might know I am a sucker for! If you buy six bundles of firewood and four bags of ice you earn yourself a free night of camping. I should note here that this is the first campground we have visited that does not allow any outside wood to be brought in.
We made a few observations worthy of noting so if you plan to visit here you go into it ahead of the game. While we had cell service the entire weekend we did not have any access to WiFi. Each site was allowed two vehicles per site and all other guest had to pay a $5.00 fee to enter and have to leave by 10 p.m. I also mention that their website did not have family sites clearly marked. this could be such an easy fix. The only other criticism is just how unlevel the sites were. It appears the sites were designed to accommodate rain runoff and over time water and wind has exaggerated the crown making the sites unlevel.
Overall, we enjoyed our weekend and will be returning. We are excited to have officially kicked off our 2016 camping season!