Essentially America

KANSAS & OKLAHOMA

LAND OF LAKES, STATE PARKS AND SCENIC BYWAYS

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The ‘America’s Heartland’ states of Kansas and Oklahoma are graced by hundreds of freshwater lakes sited close to scenic and historic byways, surrounded by state parks, and offering a wide variety of appealing outdoor activities, both on water and on land.

Close to Kansas City and the bustling university town of Lawrence, Kansas’s Clinton Reservoir State Park has modern facilities for swimming, camping and alfresco eating adjacent to the habitats of white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl and various species of songbirds.

In western Kansas, Lake Scott State Park shares its gorgeous canyon environmen­t with the 17th-century pueblo

archaeolog­ical site of El Cuartelejo and the nearby, impressive chalk formations at Monument Rocks and Little Jerusalem. The quiet, compact lake and surroundin­g area are also appealing to kayakers, swimmers, hikers and horseback riders.

In Oklahoma, Lake Murray State Park, located halfway between Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth, recently added a spectacula­r lakeside lodge to its more rustic cabin lodging and cozy, wellappoin­ted floating cabins. It also features a marina with daily or hourly watercraft rentals and guided, scenic tours.

Towering trees, crystal clear waters and rugged terrain make the state’s serene Broken Bow Lake an outdoor lover’s paradise. Not only does the lake offer excellent canoeing and spectacula­r views but there is also a wide selection of accommodat­ion options along its shores and in surroundin­g Beavers Bend State Park. They range from RV and tent campsites to modern, luxury cabins and the 40-room Lakeview Lodge, where every room features amazing views of the water.

A pre-planned America’s Heartland road trip is particular­ly special as you can combine these stays by beautiful, easy-to-access freshwater lakes with scenic and historic byways, including legendary Route 66, as well as with stays in vibrant cities filled with numerous attraction­s.

For complete informatio­n about Kansas and Oklahoma, visit www.travelksok.co.uk or telephone 01292 313969.

local sporting activities include fishing, boating, duck hunting and alligator safaris.

Toledo Bend Reservoir, located near the Texas border, is the largest man-made body of water in the Southern USA and fifth largest in the country. Covering 186,000 acres, 65 miles long and featuring 1,200 miles of shoreline, it is particular­ly known for its great bass fishing but also for its water sports, Cypress Bend Park beach and around 35 resorts that include cabins right on the lake.

THE MIDWEST

Moving west into ‘America’s Heartland’, there are not only appealing options in Oklahoma and Kansas, where you can combine lakeside holidays with a trip down legendary Route 66 (see page 14), but also in Missouri, where you can combine the delights of Table Rock Lake and its surroundin­g

Ozark Mountains landscape with the live entertainm­ent options of Branson.

A magnet for fishermen and women because of its huge variety of different types of bass, its marinas and its fishing tournament­s, the lake also offers numerous other activity opportunit­ies. The accommodat­ion options include houseboati­ng, Big Cedar Lodge, named Number 1 resort in the Midwest by Travel & Leisure, and family-focused Watermill Cove Resort, with its huge swimming pool, mini golf and other attraction­s.

THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST

Sited at the base of Montana’s majestic Mission Mountain, Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the West and the home to such appealing destinatio­ns as Polson’s Kwataqnuk Resort & Casino, which offers watersport­s, skiing and entertainm­ent, and Bigfork’s family-focused Averills Flathead Lake Lodge, which is close to art galleries, boutiques, fine restaurant­s, golf and live theatre.

In Idaho, Lake Coeur D’Alene’s namesake resort features what Golf Digest considers America’s most-beautiful resort golf course – the 14th hole is actually on an island reached by a custom-made boat. And Wyoming’s Yellowston­e National Park encompasse­s Yellowston­e Lake, the largest one above 7,000ft in North America. It’s overlooked by the massive, white-columned Lake Yellowston­e Hotel. First opened in 1881, it is surrounded by cottages and designated a National Historic Landmark.

THE WEST COAST

California’s Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, is known for its deep, clear, blue water and for the towering surroundin­g mountains, which are home to popular

ski resorts. An ideal base is The Lodge at Edgewood, located on the shores of South Lake Tahoe. It has 154 luxurious rooms and suites, each boasting its own fireplace and private deck or terrace, a year-round lake-front heated pool and hot tub and a spa.

Sited about 45 minutes from Tioga Pass, at the east entrance to Yosemite National Park, the town of Mammoth Lakes is actually surrounded by several lakes. It offers great access to 11,053fthigh Mammoth Mountain’s skiing, snowboardi­ng, gondola rides and ziplining as well as to boating, fishing, hiking, biking and excursions to Bodie, the West’s largest unrestored ghost town. A popular place to stay since 1924 has been cabin-surrounded Tamarack Lodge, set on Twin Lakes, 2.5 miles from the town centre of Mammoth Lakes.

In Washington State’s scenic Olympic Peninsula an appealing base is Lake Crescent Lodge, overlookin­g its namesake lake in the million-acre Olympic National Park. It’s accessible by the Bainbridge Ferry or by road from Seattle. However, if you want to overnight literally on – as opposed to beside – a lake, head for the Ross Lake Resort in the North Cascades National Park where you can sleep in a bunkhouse built on log floats or, alternativ­ely, in a cabin. Access is only by ferry … or hiking!

 ??  ?? Fly fishing in Beavers Bend State Park , OK
Fly fishing in Beavers Bend State Park , OK
 ??  ?? Tranquil Lake Scott State Park, KS
Tranquil Lake Scott State Park, KS
 ??  ?? Friendship around the fire pit at the Beavers Bend State Park Lodge, OK
Friendship around the fire pit at the Beavers Bend State Park Lodge, OK
 ??  ?? An historic marker at Lake Scott State Park, KS
An historic marker at Lake Scott State Park, KS
 ??  ?? Boating on Montana’s Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Western USA
Boating on Montana’s Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Western USA
 ??  ?? An added attraction to Missouri’s
Table Rock Lake is Branson’s variety of live entertainm­ent
An added attraction to Missouri’s Table Rock Lake is Branson’s variety of live entertainm­ent
 ??  ?? Wyoming’s Yellowston­e Lake is the largest above 7,000ft in North America
Wyoming’s Yellowston­e Lake is the largest above 7,000ft in North America
 ??  ?? The Lodge at Edgewood is an ideal base for the attraction­s of California’s South Lake Tahoe
The Lodge at Edgewood is an ideal base for the attraction­s of California’s South Lake Tahoe
 ??  ?? A fisherman in California’s Mammoth Lakes region
A fisherman in California’s Mammoth Lakes region

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