Featuring sand dunes, grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands within its 1,123-acre natural area, Sand Hills State Park is the ideal place to enjoy nature while on RV vacation. Located two miles northeast of Hutchinson and 20 miles southwest of McPherson, Kansas, this state park consists of a campground featuring 64 utility sites. 44 sites have water, sewer, and electricity, with the remaining 20 sites having just electric and water RV hookups. Popular activities for RV campers at Sand Hills State Park to enjoy include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, wildlife and bird watching, wildflower walks, jogging archery, as well fishing in a five-acre campground lake.
Sand Hills State Park features eight trails which include interpretive, hiking, mountain bicycling, and horseback riding trails. These trails add up to 14 miles and weave in between 10 to 40-feet high sand dunes, through grasslands and trees, and around ponds. Facilities in the park include two vault toilets, pay station, shower house, trailer and a dumpstation.
Sand Hill State Park was first established in 1974 and for the first 40 years was maintained as a natural sand hill park with a trail system of 15 miles. Located on the north edge of the Hutchinson Dune Tract, Sand Hills State Park is a rolling sand prairie displaying hues of red, yellow, gray, lavender, and green.
Sand Hills State Park is located two miles north of Hutchinson, Kansas and is easily accessible by RVs, trailers, and cars off Highway K-61 either at East 56th street or East 69th street. Consequently, the park is a simple drive-in park. Local paved roads and gravel roads exist within the park connecting to the campground and some trailheads. Certain areas in the park are limited to walk-in access only in order to help protect the natural features of the park.
There are six parking lots for RVs, trailers, and motorized vehicles within Sand Hills State Park distributed around the park. The parking lots are located around 56th street and 69th street and are accessible via paved roads and gravel roads. Overnight parking is available in the park.
There are no public transportation facilities available at Sand Hills State Park.
Sand Hills Campground in Sand Hills State Park features 64 standard pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. 44 campsites in the campground offer full hookups options (electric, water, and sewer hookups) for RVs, while 20 campsites are equipped with electric and water hookups for RVs. RV length limit at the campground is 40 feet. Amenities in the campground include concrete camping pads, fire rings, lantern stands, picnic table, covered grills, pond, restrooms and showers, horsepens, and trailer dump station. All campers and camping units are limited to a stay of not more than 14 consecutive days. Fires are allowed in fireplaces, fire rings, and cooking grills only. Quiet hours are 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Actions which alarm, anger, or disturb others are prohibited. Generators cannot be used during quiet hours.
Sand Hills State Park features eight hiking trails which start from most of the parking lots in the park. These hiking trails include the one-mile Dune Trail, half-mile Cottonwood Trail, two-mile Prairie Trail, one and a half-mile Pond Trail, four mile Rolling Hills Trail, one-mile Bluestem Trail, two-mile Tallgrass Trail, and the two-mile Woodland Trail. All these trails offer RV campers a plethora of options to pick from to enjoy hiking in the park. The Pond Trail, for example, takes hikers to the pond located in the interior part of the park where they can see ducks and mergansers, as well as green herons and Canada geese. Bluebirds and blue grosbeaks are found along Woodland Trail. To enjoy the shade from the sun on a hot day while finding in-depth information about local flora and fauna in the area, the Cottonwood Interpretive Trail is perfect, as it stays mostly in the woods. All the trails are open during daylight hours only. No camping, fires, or motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails.
RV campers who love mountain bicycling will enjoy the trails in Sand Hills State Park as the trails take them through scenic spots in the park. Furthermore, horseback riding is allowed on five of the park’s trails (Pond Trail, Rolling Hills Trail, Bluestem Spur Trail, Tallgrass Trail, Woodland Trail). Six horse gates on the multi-use trails allow more access points for both equestrians and hikers in the park. The horse access gates are marked with the letter "H", and horseback riders are required to remain on marked trails. Horses are not to be ridden on "hiking only" trails, dunes, or erosion prone areas in the park.
Sand Hills State Park is replete with beautiful flora for the viewing pleasure of RV campers at the park. Dominant grass species in the park include big sandreed, sand bluestem, sand dropseed, little bluestem, and switchgrass. The marshes and sloughs in the park feature sedges, prairie cordgrass, and rushes. Woody shrubs thickets also grow between the grasses in the park, in addition to the abundant Poison Ivy. During spring, yellow star grass, puccoon, Buckley’s penstemon, goatsbeard, amd purple poppy mallow decorate the park. Campers and visitors at the park will find blue lobelia, swamp milkweed, and ladies-tresses orchid in the park in September.
There are two wildlife observation blinds in Sand Hills State Park where RV campers and visitors get a close-up peek at the wildlife in the park. From these blinds, you will see ducks, geese, songbirds, deer, muskrat, coyotes, owls, and hawks. Nesting birds in the park include orchard orioles, yellow-bird cuckoos, mourning doves, and Bell’s vireos. Between late spring and early fall, several kinds of lizards. Quail and pheasant are also seen in the park.
Public hunting is allowed in designated areas in the park. Hence, RV campers with the hunting licenses can enjoy upland game hunting in Sand Hills State Park. Archery deer hunting is also allowed in the park. Firearms may only be discharged in areas specifically designated for hunting or target practice.
A five-acre pond is located in the park within the campground where RV campers can enjoy fishing for channel catfish. Fishing is the only water activity allowed in the campground lake, as swimming and boating are prohibited.