Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Kansas and Missouri

Ever talked to someone who has never visited Kansas or Missouri? If you have, chances are good they thought you were from “boring” states. The following list is a surefire way to prove them wrong! It may be hard to believe we have so many beautiful outdoor treasures right here in our states. But after researching favorite tourist sites, some of which are a *bit* out of the way, we know we can entice anyone to explore these amazing places! Girl Scouts, are you ready to be adventurous this summer?!

Top Ten Outdoor Adventures in Kansas and Missouri

The Fugitive Beach – Rolla, Missouri


Pack your swimsuits and sunscreen and get ready to make a splash at The Fugitive Beach in Rolla, Missouri! Located eight miles south of Rolla, this “beach” is actually an abandoned rock quarry. And at only $6 per person it is a real steal! You can relax on the beach, swim or go down a water slide. But if you’re feeling ready for adventure, check out the obstacle course training. All of their rules and regulations are located on their website so make sure to come prepared with what you need to enjoy a day of water fun!

Mark Twain State Park – Florida, Missouri

There is so much to see and do here we don’t have room to write it all! But rest assured there is something for every level of adventurer! Whether it be camping, hiking, boating or educational presentations, you’ll find it all at this versatile State Park. Native trees and soaring views are only some of the greatest attractions nestled in the middle of the Salt River Hills of North-Central Missouri.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center – Topeka, Kansas


The Discovery Center offers an exciting and safe place for families and children to explore and discover nature within 4.5 wooded acres in Topeka’s Gage Park. You’ll find obstacle courses, hiking trails and bike paths. It’s okay to get dirty here, girls! Go on and build a fort, make a mud pie or scale rocks! Adventure is the name of the game here! And even better, they are one of our community partners!

Onondaga Cave State Park – Leasburg, Missouri


Come see why Missouri is often called “The Cave State!” You’ll be mesmerized by stalagmites, stalactites, and active flowstones. Visitors can descend into the depths of the caves with a guided tour. If you’d rather stay at the surface, the park’s Vilander Bluff Natural Area provides a panoramic view of the Meramec River.

Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure – Salina, Kansas

Rolling Hills Zoo is home to 100+ species of animals located in a beautifully landscaped 60 acre park. Ride the tram, feed the giraffes or listen to one of the many zookeeper talks! The onsite museum provides plenty of hands-on, interactive ways to explore and learn about animals!

Flint Hills Discovery Center – Manhattan, Kansas


This outdoor treat turns out to be an unexpected beauty for those who have never made the trip. The Flint Hills of Kansas, which are some of the last tallgrass prairies in North America, are currently endangered. The mission of the Discovery Center is to inspire people to celebrate, explore and care for the Flint Hills. We are so honored that Flint Hills Discovery Center is one of our community partners!

Monument Rock National Landmark – Oakley, Kansas

Monument Rocks

If you really want to go off the beaten path, you’ll find an amazing sight at Monument Rock – but it will take you some time and patience to get there. This adventure is more suited for older Girl Scouts as you will have to drive on a dirt road, 25 miles south of Oakley, Kansas. When you arrive you will definitely know it! You can spot the chalk formations that rise 100 feet into the air as if from out of nowhere. These rocks, or “pyramids” as locals call them, attract many visitors every year. These are located on private property but visitors are welcome to drive up to the structures and photos are welcome.

Powell Gardens – Kingsville, Missouri

It’s time to come smell the roses (and many other flowers) at Kansas City’s botanical garden. Book a group tour to experience the sights, sounds and smells of this beautifully landscaped attraction. You can’t go wrong when nature and STEM come together! Now through September 7th, explore 27 all new LEGO sculptures, which represent how all living things connect on Earth.

Bennett Spring State Park – Lebanon, Missouri

Get your fishing poles ready! Located in southwest Missouri, Bennett Spring is best known for its fish hatchery with excellent trout fishing opportunities! This state park also provides camping, cabins, trails, a nature center, restaurant, store, picnic tables, and a playground. Take a tour of the hatchery or spend the day canoeing down the scenic Niangua River.

Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park – Manhattan, Kansas

Want a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Flint Hills? Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park is where it’s at! Scheduled to open on June 25th, this brand new zip line park has seven zip lines with trails. Children and adults can zip over treetops and ravines. You won’t see this in Kansas west of Manhattan!

6 thoughts on “Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in Kansas and Missouri

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Great list! Thanks for posting.
    I will be adding them to my family fun list and can’t wait to check them off!

  • Pingback: Top 10 Activities & Places to Go in Kansas and Missouri | GSKSMO Blog

  • July 6, 2016 at 1:20 am

    What I enjoyed the most about your post was that everything listed was truly apart of nature. Even the adventure park with the zipline! That is something I will be doing soon. I also enjoy things that are “off the beaten path”. It makes me feel as if I am in a different world, experiencing such different things that we see in our everyday life. Good read!

  • December 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Great blog entry, indeed.

    Kansas is of course world-famous for its Cretaceous and upper Pennsylvanian to lower Permian fossils; paleontologists and paleontology enthusiasts from all over the planet come to Kansas.

    See my page “Late Pennsylvanian Fossils In Kansas” over at for many images of late Pennsylvanian fossils (roughly 307 to 299 million years ago) that I collected during my wonderful residence experience in Kansas a number of years ago; also includes numerous on-site photographs of late Pennsylvanian Kansas rock exposures and associated scenery.

  • April 4, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Great post! All of these destinations look like good options for a trip to Missouri. This will definitely help me plan a trip for the summer. Thanks for sharing


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