Pottawatomie Lake

One strange thing you might notice when looking at a map of Kansas is that all of its lakes have a mysterious straight edge on one side. That’s because almost every lake in the state is a man-made reservoir, the straight edge being the dam or levee. Most of them were created in the 1960’s for flood control, water supply, and recreation. If you do happen to notice one nearby on a map, it might be worth checking out. Along their tranquil, natural (and yet totally artificial) shores, public land and recreation abounds.

Not all of the reservoirs have parks, but Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2 does. It includes a free, no-frills campsite and its only 7 miles from Manhattan. This weekend, a group of Prairie Fire members got together there for an overnight camp-out. The original plan was to bike from town. But in the end, Ben was the sole camper to make the journey via two wheels. Once we got there, we took turns paddling kayaks onto the lake and riding a fat tire bike around. Dinner was a hodgepodge of camp food followed by a fire. By the end of the night, eleven people had made an appearance. Five of us stayed for the night and went home the next morning.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get out of town and sleep under the stars, Pottawatomie Lake is your place.


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