Every year we have a goal of visiting 5 different Missouri State Parks, which earns us our Missouri Camper Award. Some of those five are parks we visit every single year: Watkins Mill State Park, Weston Bend State Park, and Wallace State Park. But, we also like to explore and try new things (isn’t that part of the love of RV’ing?) so I also look for a couple of new parks we want to visit. Knob Noster State Park has been on our list of places to visit for the past couple of years and we finally made it there Memorial Day Weekend 2018.
Located an hour east of Kansas City in the small town of Knob Noster, we found ourselves arriving just about the time we felt like we left home. Knob Noster is home to Whiteman Air Force Base so by coming here, I really hoped to catch a glimpse of the B-2 Stealth Bomber, which is permanently housed at Whiteman AFB.
This trip came days before we departed for our two week family vacation, so we were really hoping for a quiet weekend before we sat off on an adventure. As we rarely roam without a friend or two, this weekend was no exception.. Our friends Josh and Vickie and their two children joined us.
The campground loop is long and weaves between completely shaded sites to full exposed to the sun sites. Primitive sites are sprinkled throughout the loop and next to electric sites. There are 70 total sites at Knob Noster SP.
In addition to the campground, there is also a special use area with two group campgrounds that are available to nonprofits, weddings, family reunions, and other approved groups. One of the parks even has an in-ground swimming pool!
Each night and day that we were visiting KNSP there were ranger led activities. We attended an owl program Friday night after settling into camp. We attended a ranger led nature walk the next day and on our last evening we attended a ranger led program that discussed the history of the park.
Knob Noster State Park actually started off as part of the National Park Service. Construction began on the future state park in 1936 as part of the employment relief service and with a goal of turning marginal land no longer suited for agriculture into a recreational area for Kansas Citians and nearby residents. Ten years later when construction was completed in 1946, the National Park Service transferred control to the Missouri State Board.
As we prepared to come to Knob Noster State Park for the first time we heard from many people that the hiking at this park was exceptional. We ended up hiking the Buteo Trail and the Discovery Trail. We found wild plants, animals, cliffs, streams, and lakes. The Buteo Trail has a fun water feature to cross and it takes you around the Buteo Lake. We heard that the Buteo Lake is home to fresh water jellyfish and beavers, but we found no evidence of jelly fish.
We heard that the town of Knob Noster had a farmers market on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, there were only three vendors at the farmer’s market so we finished in like six minutes. Fortunately, we decided to wander around downtown and found ourselves a few antique shops and a few other cute shops. We even found an ice cream place and Josh proved to everyone that it is never too early in the morning for ice cream!
One of the evenings during our visit we traveled over to Clear Fork Lake to catch the sunset and do a little bit of fishing. We did not catch any fish but the sunset that night was beautiful! I added returning to Clear Fork Lake to my next time list. I think this place would be beautiful space for an evening picnic.
Sunday afternoon we welcomed visitors, my brother and niece arrived. One of the small pleasures in life is to enjoy a grilled hot dog and the company of loved ones. As we sat around our campsite, following the shade from spot to the next we actually had a B-2 fly overhead. By the time we heard the noise, the bomber was long gone but man, it was so loud! Maybe next visit we will actually get to see a B-2 fly over. Maybe, but they are stealthy.