Headwaters of the Kansas River Trail
Come visit Geary County and enjoy the Kansas River Trail with countless recreational opportunities and wildlife. You can enter the trail at the convergence of three major rivers located on river mile 173, Junction City Access Ramp in Grant Park. We invite you to plan a trip to the Kansas River Trail to immerse yourself in this outdoor Kansas experience.
Tips for your paddle trip:
Directions: From 1-70 take Junction City exit 296. Go down Washington Street north 2.2 miles to 18th Street (also Grant Avenue). Turn Right on Grant Avenue and go east for 2 miles, it divides as it goes over the Republican River. Grant Park is located between the two bridges. Grant Avenue does go into Fort Riley, but is closed to traffic, you can still access Grant Park. The road into Grant Park is gravel and is about 200 yards east to the edge of the Republican River.
Access Information: A wide concrete ramp on the west bank of the Republican River is how you can access the river. You can park cars overnight, but there is no lighting.
Fort Riley Access: As an active military installation, access to the fort is regulated. Paddlers need to observe the high-water marks to ensure you are on public property. It is prohibited to trespass onto a military reservation. Visitors are required to have a visitor pass to enter at one of the security checkpoints.
Amenities: You can view an information kiosk on site and trash cans are available. There is no restrooms and the nearest convenience store is about 1.5 miles.
Paddle Information: As you paddle from the access ramp you will go down the Republican River about 1/3 mile to the point where the Smoky Hill River joins it from the southwest to become the Kansas River. This is the wildest section of the river. Be sure to watch for unusual currents as you cross this area. Look out for hazards such as low branches, fallen trees, rocks and debris.
Before you paddle check the water levels and weather before going out on the river. Beginning paddlers should not be on the river when water flow is above 5,000 cubic feet per second. Kansas weather can change quickly. Its always a great idea to inform a family member or friend about your trip and where you plan to paddle and return home.
Protect our Kansas Waterways by cleaning your boat after removing it from the river. Wash away any vegetation, mud, and zebra mussels with water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. If you are unable to wash your boat off, allow it to dry for 5 days before entering another body of water.
What to Bring:
- Life Vest
- Whistle or air horn to signal distress
- First aid kit
- Dry change of clothes in cooler weather
- Plenty of food and water
- Flashlight for low-light conditions
- Sun protection – hats, long sleeves and pants, sunscreen
- Cell phone in waterproof bag