Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has proposed a plan to allow open admission to state parks. The current daily summer fee is $4.20 per motor vehicle ($3.70 during the remainder of the year, with an annual pass also available). That fee level is half of what it was two years ago, when the state legislature reduced the fee in an effort to encourage more people to use the park system.
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks secretary Mike Hayden said that the free entrance would bring thousands of new visitors to Kansas’ 24 state parks. Free admission, he said, “could be a great tourism promotion.”
The state parks offer 32,500 acres of land, 25,000 acres of water, and nearly 500 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
Fortunately, the existing entrance fees only apply to motor vehicles, so bicycles already get in free, though many facilities do charge camping fees (and those would remain in place even with free entrance).
If approved by the state legislature, free admissions would begin in 2009.