People flocking to state parks for holiday weekend

CHENEY, Kansas – Many Kansans are already heading to state parks, in hopes of getting a spot for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

With recent rains filling up the lakes, some parks are seeing quite a boost in attendance.

Terry Anderson and many of his closest friends from the Kansas Coast Guard set up shop at Cheney State Park Thursday afternoon to get a jump start on the holiday weekend.

Anderson says they’ve had a 4th of July tradition they’ve had that spans decades.

“A bunch of high school friends and their families have grown this into 33 years of fun and family sharing,” said Anderson.

With crowds of people filing in Thursday, Regional Supervisor Ryan Stucky with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says that numbers are up, compared to last year.

“Right now we’re about 60-percent over on revenues and visitation where we were at this point last year,” said Stucky.

The boost in people can be attributed to the rain that contributed to the seventh wettest June ever in Kansas.

Stucky says that helped fill Cheney Lake back up.

“The lake levels are right at conservation pool, right where they need to be, actually just a little bit over with some of the rain, so we’re about six inches high right now which is about perfect,” said Stucky.

Stucky says many of the park goers this weekend will be boating out on the lake.

He had some words of advice on how to stay safe on the water.

“Check your boat. Make sure your batteries are up, make sure you have plenty of fuel in your boat, make sure you have plenty of life jackets, make sure you inspect the life jackets,” said Stucky.

Cheney Lake was tested for blue green algae, something that’s plagued other Kansas lakes.

Stucky says Cheney doesn’t have it, so no warnings have been issued.

Cheney State Park expects upwards of 30,000 people will frequent the park for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

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