12 Free NE Kansas Boondocking – Camping Spots & RV Parking

Kansas’ 28 state parks are a great starting point for locating free NE Kansas boondocking spots, whether you’re itching for NE Kansas hiking, horseback riding, or kayaking. Most parks offer cabins as well as tent and RV camping spots, but private RV parks with full hookups are always available nearby.

Want more ideas to round-out your trip to Kansas?
A lot of great ideas are in these posts!

NE Kansas Boondocking Locations on the Kaw

The Kansas River, often known as the Kaw, is a river located in northern Kansas. The Missouri River in the extreme northeast between St. Joseph, MO and Kansas City, the Arkansas River in the south, and the Kansas River from Junction City to Kansas City are all defined as “navigable” and so open to the public in Kansas. These three rivers run through the state like linear parks and have many NE Kansas boondocking locations available for public use.

The Kaw has 19 public boat ramps that provide access to the river. The majority of the adjacent land is privately held between these ramps, so the river banks are private while the river itself is public area. The high-water mark is the border that separates private and public spaces; it is the point at which the riverbed meets the permanent vegetation on the banks. If the landowner’s property extends above this mark, leaving the river at this point would be considered trespassing. The public can use the river region between the high-water marks, including the sandbars, for recreational purposes and NE Kansas RV Parking. There are no reservations required for paddling, floating, swimming, fishing, or camping. Of course, you must adhere to all applicable boating and fishing regulations, and there is no guarantee that your preferred sandbar will be available or vacant.

NE Kansas Camping Spots on the Kaw

Checking the river level and reservoir release schedule upstream of your campground should be one of the most critical items on your camping checklist. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecast, as rain in the watershed will elevate the river level. Rain or reservoir releases will take time to reach each stretch of the river, so keep this in mind while choosing a campground. Throughout the night, your ideal camping sandbar should be above the projected river level. Un-vegetated sandbars in the center of the river are likewise not recommended because they are often unstable. Push a stick into the bank at the edge of the lake when you land and begin to build your camp. This will serve as a reference point for determining whether the river is rising or falling during your visit. Bring your boat up onto the sandbar and tie it down to keep it from being swept away by the wind or water.

Paddling the river at a flow of 5,000cfs or less is recommended. This is also a nice camping guide. At this stage, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of big sandbars. More sandbars are exposed at greater flows, and even the taller sandbars are closer to the water level. Sandbars are usually submerged above 8,000 cfs, and only permanent islands are available for camping. While the trees and grass on the islands provide some shade, they also attract flies, and the substrate is more mud than sand. A high, flat sandbar with some western shade and a large pile of dry driftwood is significantly more appealing than camping “in the green.”

Always be on the lookout for evidence of animal activity. Geese will leave unmistakable indicators of where they choose to spend their time. If you camp near their pond, beavers will come to see you. When you’re camping in peace, deer may pay you a visit late at night. If you leave your food unsecured, raccoons will investigate it. Mosquitoes and flies will feed on you if they have the opportunity, which is usually right as the sun sets. Because most wildlife prefers to be in the shade, camping on the open sand can help keep these encounters to a minimal.

2 Free NE Kansas RV Parking With Hookups

One of the best aspects of owning an RV is that you can travel on a shoestring budget. The majority of campgrounds are only $25–$35 per night, and even the most luxurious RV parks are still less expensive than hotel rooms.

However, there are instances when you want to get away but can’t afford to pay the price of a conventional campground. According to AARP, as many as 40% to 49% of adults forego travel owing to financial constraints. Instead of avoiding excursions altogether, look for free campgrounds.

Most people equate the use of free NE Kansas camping spots with boondocking or dry camping, which entails going off the grid and living in the outdoors. There’s nothing wrong with a nice boondocking excursion, especially if you have solar panels, a generator, and plenty of fresh water on hand.

Unfortunately, these amenities are not available to everyone. Furthermore, some people are simply unwilling to give boondocking a shot. These campers, believe it or not, have no shortage of free options. Enter the free NE Kansas boondocking with electricity and running water.

That’s right, there are free campgrounds with hookups. Not only that, but several states have multiple free trips to choose from. Look into the free NE Kansas camping spots that provide power, as well as drinkable water and a dump station in certain cases.

Marysville City Park

Marysville is a small city in contrast to larger cities, yet it retains much of its small-town charm. It’s in northern Kansas, right in the middle of nowhere, and it’s the perfect getaway for NE Kansas boondocking locations.

Walking paths, museums, a pool, playgrounds, NE Kansas hiking, and historic buildings are just a few of the things to do and see in Marysville. Of course, you’ll want to spend some time checking out their famous black squirrels, who populate the city park, which also happens to be one of the free NE Kansas boondocking areas.

The Marysville City Park campground has around 12 sites. Only three of them, though, have access to electricity. Potable water and 30- and 50-amp electric are are provided. On-site amenities include public restrooms and a garbage station, but no showers. One of the best places to camp in Kansas.

Guests are welcome to stay for free, however donations are gratefully received. All stays are limited to five nights, and guests must wait a full month before returning.

Chautauqua Park

Beloit is a small town in the northern section of the state, far from any major cities. Nonetheless, the town has its own set of amusements. For example, we highly recommend the town’s water park. It has water slides and a lazy river, and it’s a lot of fun throughout the summer. An enjoyable use of NE Kansas RV parking.

Along the banks of the Solomon River, Chautauqua Park offers free camping. There are a total of ten sites. All of the sites are concrete slabs with free 30- and 50-amp electric service. Additionally, most sites have drinkable water within 20 feet of them.

This campground is open from April 15th to October 15th, and it is well-lit and police patrolled for your protection. There is a free trash station as well as facilities, but no showers. There are also some shared fire pits and covered pavilions in the park.

In any 60-day period, campers are allowed to stay for a total of ten days.

Best Boondocking and Hiking Trails in Kansas

12 Free NE Kansas Boondocking – Camping Spots & RV Parking

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1. Free NE Kansas Boondocking – Shawnee State Fishing Lake

GPS: N39 12.018 W95 48.216
Topeka, Kansas
GPS: 39.2023, -95.803871
Elevation: 1000′

Management: Public – Fish and Wildlife Service

The road in is Paved. These Sites have outhouse restrooms, no water available.

2. NE Kansas Boondocking Locations – Pottawatomie No 2 Fishing Lake

Manhattan, Kansas
GPS: 39.230051, -96.530086
Elevation: 1126′

Management: Public – state fishing lake (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 2.5 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. Campsites are located on the west side of the lakeshore under large oak trees.Some of the trees have low hanging branches but there are sites where large RVs will fit. Most sites have tables and fire rings. Vault toilets.

3. NE Kansas Camping Spots – Carnahan Creek

Olsburg, KS
Olsburg, Kansas
GPS: 39.337783, -96.625716
Elevation: 1164′

Management: Public (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 1 mile miles from a paved road. Carnahan Creek is open All year.This is one of the best kept secrets in Manhattan! It’s located right off of Tuttle Lake, so there are opportunities to swim and boat. There are several locations where stone fire pits have been set up, but camping is allowed just about anywhere you can get to.

4. NE Kansas RV Parking – Marysville KS City Park

Marysville, Kansas
GPS: 39.837719, -96.645189
Elevation: 1152′

Management: Public – City Park (Official)

The road in is Paved. Great little city park with areas to tent camp or pull off with your RV. Electrical in a few spots plus a dump station. Nice bathroom but no showers. Pool on site and nice playground also. Treed area. Sites a little tight if the place were to be busy. Neat town!

5. NE Kansas Hiking – Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake

Unnamed Road
Westmoreland, Kansas
GPS: 39.473654, -96.412679
Elevation: 1417′

Management: Public – State Park

The campsites are mostly spaced well apart and they usually have tables and metal fire rings provided. This lake also has a vault toilet. I have camped at 4 or 5 Kansas state fishing lakes and I’ve always enjoyed my stays, this one as well. During the day, you can hear traffic noise from nearby Kansas Route 99 but that subsides at night.

6. Free NE Kansas Boondocking – Nemaha SWAP

1201-1299 116th Road
Seneca, Kansas
GPS: 39.767228, -96.028131
Elevation: 1165′

Management: Public – State Park (Official)

Native limestone pillars along the dam portion of Highway 63 are on the State Historical Register. A Memorial to the Veterans of World War I is also located on the area. The area has a limestone shelter house for picnicking and a roadside campsite.

7. NE Kansas Boondocking Locations – Nebo State Fishing Lake

18247-18299 222 Road
Holton, Kansas
GPS: 39.448506, -95.595823
Elevation: 1004′

Management: Public – State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite. This campsite does nuse a reservation systerm. First come, first served.

8. NE Kansas Camping Spots – Atchison State Fishing Lake

Potter, Kansas
GPS: 39.6339, -95.171684
Elevation: 922′

Management: Public (Official)

Atchison State Fishing Lake is located near Atchison, Kansas, and consists of 248 surface acres of water surrounded by 182 acres of public wildlife area. Atchison State Fishing Lake provides free primitive camping on the south and east sides of the lake. There are picnic facilities and restrooms available on-site, and potable water is provided at the southeast entrance to the lake.

9. NE Kansas Hiking – Brown County State Lake

2300 Thrasher Road
Robinson, Kansas
GPS: 39.849116, -95.376833
Elevation: 1014′

Management: Public – State Park

This is a free dispersed campsite. First come -> first camped. No reservations are accepted.

10. NE Kansas RV Parking – Ottawa State Fishing Lake

Lake Dr Minneapolis, KS 67467
Minneapolis, Kansas
GPS: 39.10891, -97.572942
Elevation: 1301′

Management: Public – State Park (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 0.2 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 days at Ottawa State Fishing Lake. Campsites around relatively large lake. Aside from several fishers around the lake’s edge, hardly anyone there on a Saturday night in July. Nice old stone pavilion & another stone building housing a pit toilet. Sites on other side of lake may be for tents only.

11. Free NE Kansas Boondocking – Clyde City

198 Perrier Street
Clyde, Kansas
GPS: 39.59511, -97.404684
Elevation: 1299′

Management: Public – City Park

Clyde City is open all year. here are 2 spots in a open field that have a 30 amp hook-up each. There are no water spigots or sewer dumps at the camp spots. There is a water hose at the bathrooms. This park has dumpsters, playgrounds, pavilions, a pool, grills, and ball fields. The bathrooms are at the pool, and they have flush toilets, which were open at this time.

12. NE Kansas Boondocking Locations – Washington City Campground

1100 D Street
Washington, Kansas
GPS: 39.81025, -97.054228
Elevation: 1309′

Management: Public – County Park (Official)

The road in is Paved. Washington City Campground is open year round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay 30 days at Washington City Campground. Per City Hall, this site is FREE for tent campers and $15 for RV hookups. Not sure if you have an RV and DON’T use hookups ,if it is free. There is no signage about the free use but the city hall person called and was told it was free. Public seasonal swimming pool nearby. FREE showers at pool building–showers are located outside of pool entrance and are open all the time.

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