Visitors to Topeka will enjoy the beautiful prairies and open skies of Kansas. But there’s more than that for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to see and do in the Topeka area.
One of the largest city parks in Topeka, Gage Park is a 160-acre spread that includes an outdoor theater, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, the Topeka Zoo, a miniature train, and the beautiful 70-year-old Reinisch Rose Garden, a favorite venue for weddings, birthdays, and reunions.
Topeka Zoological Park
Animal lovers will enjoy the Topeka Zoological Park, situated in the heart of Gage Park. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits, including Jungle Cats, Black Bear Woods, Kansas Carnivores, an indoor tropical rainforest, and the Discovering Apes exhibit.
Ted Ensley Gardens
The Ted Ensley Gardens are 20 acres of botanical gardens that run along the west bank of Lake Shawnee. The grounds include a wide range of stunning landscaping, a pergola, a gazebo, and multiple picnic areas.
Follow the path from the trailhead shelter and cross the stream via a 60-foot covered bridge. You’ll see a path that winds through rock gardens, beds of perennials, and rose gardens. Take a moment of silence for yourself in the meditation garden, or stroll alongside the waterfalls, ponds, and water gardens.
Lake Shawnee is a haven for those who enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, picnics, golfing, camping, or tennis.
The Lake Shawnee facilities include a children’s playground, the Garden House, the Reynolds Lodge, multiple shelter houses for picnics, a marina, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, and a water slide at the beach.
If you plan to take advantage of all the outdoor attractions that Topeka has to offer, plan to spend at least several days to soak up the natural beauty of these gorgeous locations.