Tuttle Creek State Park preparing for fall events

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As the seasons change, Tuttle Creek State Park has plenty to offer patrons for the month of October.

Park Manager Todd Lovin, told KMAN there are several events coming up. He said that one event that he is excited for is the Fall Foliage Wilderness Walk.

“I’ll be guiding this and there really isn’t a trail that we’re following. There’ll be some great vistas of the surrounding area and we should see some good foliage fully changing,” said Lovin. “Then we’re just going to hike through some stuff. That’s native Prairie, some hilly, some steep, some Rocky stuff. We’re going to blaze our own trail, brush beat a little bit at times. So it’s not really for the faint of heart and kind of weak of knees.”

Lovin did admit that if he can handle it, he suspects most people could probably still handle it as well.

Patrons need not worry as there is no cost other than a state park vehicle permit, and will meet up at the state park office at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 10th. Space will be limited to 30 patrons, so reservations are required and can be coordinated at todd.lovin@ks.gov.  

Lovin also mentioned Tuttle Creek State Park and Manhattan Parks and Recreation will hold the annual Little Apple Glow Paddle Kayaking event on October 17th running from 7 to 9 p.m.

During this event, visitors are required to wear life jackets and provide their own kayak as they kayak in the dark, lighting up their boats with glowsticks and dressing up in Halloween costumes.

“Some will be just normally dressed, you know, just out for a kayak and there will be some that just go over the top crazy [with]Halloween costumes and dress up. People dressed up like skeletons and have cobwebs hanging over the kayaks. It’s a lot of fun,” said Lovin.

There will be a competition for the best costume and patrons can purchases passes on Https://www.mhkprd.com/35/Events

As part of the ongoing activities on October 17th, Lovin said he is happy to partner with Wanderwoman, a all women’s retreat service hosting archery, kayaking, and camping activities, along with having a impromptu concert around 7 p.m.

“Over a week or two ago was the scheduled bluegrass festival at Walnut Valley in Winfield, well, that got canceled. So a number of those folks that are local came out to the park and just set up a tent and just start jamming there every night for a little heavy little jam sessions,” said Lovin. “We talked to them, then we got them hooked up to come back for the October 16th and 17th. So as you come off the water from kayaking you can hear them jamming a little bit, or you can just come out [for the concert]on Friday or Saturday. So it should be a lot of fun and there’s just good pickup sessions of some good music.”

The music is free, provided patrons have a state park vehicle permit.

Halloween is shaping up to bring in many visitors as Lovin said he will be coordinating a hike, an archery tournament for children from the Chapman School District and AIB International and Manhattan Running Company will host the 3rd Annual Little Apple Marathon.

The marathon consists of 4 loops around the park area along with a Half Marathon, 5K and Marathon relay options. Participants must be 16 years of age or older on race day to register for the Marathon, 12 years of age or older for the Half Marathon, and there is no age limit for the Relay or 5K. The race will have a participant cap of 1,000 runners between the Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay and no limits on the number of participants for the 5K.

For a full list of events you can visit https://www.facebook.com/TuttleCreekStatePark

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Bill Bernard

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