As the weather has been warming up, many students are trying to find ways to spend time outdoors! Although sometimes that can come with an expense, it doesn’t have to! Here are a few ways to enjoy the nice weather without emptying your piggy bank.
- Hike the Konza
Take some time to visit the Konza Prairie and hike the trails! The six miles of trails are open from dawn to dusk. The Konza provides some of the most spectacular views of the Flint Hills and Kansas River Valley. There are four trail options in which you can hike; Nature Trail Loop, Kings Creek Loop, Godwin Hill Loop, and the Hokanson Homestead. The Nature Trail Loop is 2 ½ miles and hikers should plan for about 2 – 2 ½ hours to complete the trail. The Kings Creek Loop is 4.4 miles long and takes about 3 ½ hours to enjoy. The Godwin is slightly longer at 6.0 miles, taking an additional hour to complete. And lastly the Hokanson Homestead, which is located just off of the Nature Trail! Allow for an additional hour of investigation at this site. A contribution of $2 is appreciated! More information about the Konza can be found at http://keep.konza.ksu.edu/visit/hike.ht. For other various trails around Manhattan, visit http://www.manhattancvb.org/index.aspx?nid=60.
- Visit the Sunset Zoo
The sunset zoo was named the best zoo in Kansas by Yahoo travel and is home to over 200 animals! Student admission is just $5! The zoo is open daily from noon – 5:00 p.m. In April the zoo will open at 9:30 a.m. The zoo is located at 2333 Oak Street Manhattan, KS 66502. For more information regarding the Sunset Zoo visit their website, http://www.sunsetzoo.com.
- Utilize the Outdoor Recreation area at the Rec!
Enjoy the warm weather and get a workout by utilizing the outdoor sand volleyball pit, tennis court, basketball court, football, softball, or soccer fields at the rec! Be sure to check the schedule located at http://recservices.k-state.edu/outdoorfacilities/ to make sure the tennis courts are not reserved for the K-State Tennis team! The outdoor recreation area will be open on days where the temperature is above 60 degrees from 1 p.m.-dark.
- Rent a Kayak/Canoe and explore the Kansas River.
For $12.50 you can rent a kayak or canoe for a day from the K-State rec and explore the Kansas River! Or if you are interested in renting for a weekend trip, it is just $20! If you are planning a big trip and would like to reserve a rental there is a reservation fee of $5. There are many great places to explore around Manhattan, especially the Kansas River.
- Play Footgolf!
Have you heard of foot golf?! If not, the goal is to use a soccer ball and try to kick it into 21” holes with the least amount of kicks! Watch out for the rolling fairways and roughs, sand traps, trees, native tall grass, and other hazards! The cost is just $12.25 with a $3.00 ball rental at Wildcat Creek Fun and Fitness. Feel free to take your own soccer ball if you have one though! This is a great way to spend an hour and half or more outside enjoying the weather! http://www.wildcatcreekfun.com/outdoor-recreation/footgolf.
- Hang out at Pillsbury Crossing
Pillsbury Crossing is a great place to spend time enjoying the weather. Enjoy the picnic spot, wading in the rock-bottomed creek, fishing, kayaking or canoeing, and view the wildlife! Pillsbury Crossing is located on the south edge of Manhattan. For exact directions on how to find this unique hideaway, visit http://kansastravel.org/pillsburycrossing.htm.
- Zip Line the Flint Hills
There’s a new adventure in Manhattan! Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park, http://www.wildwoodoutdooradventurepark.com/about.html, offers a zip lining across the Flint Hills! This experience can be a little costly, but some budgeting tips from PFC can help! Prices start at $25. Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park is open Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Monday through Thursday by special arrangements.
For more help on budgeting or establishing a savings plan, Powercat Financial Counseling is here to help! Visit our website, www.k-state.edu/pfc to make an appointment regarding your financial questions!
Kristen Payne, Peer Counselor I