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Located in the hills of Verdigris River Valley in southeast Kansas is the home to scenic Cross Timbers State Park. Located just south of the city of Toronto, the park is not too far from Chanute and Independence, and both cities are easily accessible by renting an RV; you’ll find a range of affordable RV rentals in Woodson County. Coming back to what’s so great about this park and why you should be planning a motorhome camping trip here soon – well, for one, its spread across 1075-acres of forest land that’s made up of terraces of Prairie and hills of Oak Savanna; the park lies right opposite the Toronto Wildlife Area. What’s more, the park offers easy access to the 2,800-acre Toronto Lake that has lots of water-based recreation.
Native Americans of the Osage Nation frequented the area around the park for hunting and camping. Cross Timbers State Park has been around since 1960 when the Army Corps of Engineers completed it. Ever since, it has been a favored outdoor area with campers who head in this direction to make the most of several outdoor recreational opportunities, including fishing, hiking, picnicking, swimming, mountain biking, and camping at Cross Timbers State Park.
Put on your best pair of hiking boots and set out to explore several trails when you go camping with an RV at Cross Timbers State Park. There are 15 miles of maintained trails that can be accessed by hikers and bikers. Try the Chautauqua Hills Trail that makes for a perfect day trek of 12 miles. If you want to check out the topography of the park, go down the 1.5-mile long Overlook Trail that takes you through rock outcroppings and stunning lake views. The Ancient Trees Trail offers lots of interpretive signs that point out the centuries-old oak trees along the trail.
Considered an angler’s paradise, you can look forward to casting a line for an abundance of crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black bass, bluegill, and sunfish. Fishing in Toronto Lake, a reservoir on the Verdigris River is enjoyable, and the lake can be accessed for fishing via a boat, or you have the option of shoreline fishing too.
Wildlife enthusiasts will be in for a treat when RV camping at Cross Timbers State Park. You’ll get to spot a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, rabbit, raccoon, and dove. Also easily spotted are plenty of songbirds in the area.
Cross Timbers State Park camping areas come equipped with several amenities for campers. To begin with, there are 100 campsites available. Amenities include pull-thru sites, big rig access, tent camping, full hookups, 20, 30, and 50 amp electric service, water, sewer, dump station, and limited cell phone coverage. There are modern restrooms and shower facilities. Since the campground is located within the state park, campers have access to loads of recreation, including fishing, boating, swimming in Toronto Lake, and exploring recreational trails. Bring your furry friends along to this pet-friendly campground.
When you’re looking for a place to camp in an RV near Cross Timbers State Park, drive to the South Owl RV Park in Yates Center. It has 14 campsites that include amenities like pull-thru sites big rig access, full hookups, 20, 30, and 50 amp electric service, water, sewer, central water spigot, WiFi, and cell phone coverage.
The Damsite-Fall River Lake COE is in Fall River and has 32 campsites that feature big rig access, tent camping, full hookups, 20, 30, and 50 amp electric service, water, sewer, dump station, and limited cell phone coverage. There are restrooms and shower facilities too. Pets are welcome at this campground.
After making the most of your time exploring Cross Timbers State Park, consider driving around to explore nearby towns and cities. The city of Independence is a little over 48 miles from the state park and worth checking out on your RV rental vacation. This small city that’s high on charm also happens to be the county seat of Montgomery County.
Spend a day outdoors at the Riverside Park and Ralph Mitchell Zoo. Kids will enjoy rides on the carousel and running about in the playgrounds. There’s miniature golf, shelter houses, a stadium, and a small zoo located right next to the park that houses bears, monkeys, and donkeys too.
The Elk City Reservoir and State Park are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Located five miles outside the city, the state park offers a perfect escape into the wilderness. There are several hiking and biking trails to explore while you’re at the park.
The Riverside Beach and Family Aquatic Center is a perfect summer afternoon getaway with the family. With diving boards, lazy river, slides, lily pads, and more, the kids will have a complete blast here!
Catch a movie at Independence Cinemas, a 4-screen luxury movie theater located in the heart of the city.
Enjoy hearty meals when you’re visiting Independence; the city is home to numerous eateries that specialize in Kansas favorites like fried chicken, baby back ribs, chili, meatloaf, and steak.
Pick up a few supplies for the road from a local convenience store and top off your RV rental at a gas station before you hit the highway to your next destination.