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I paid $4.69 a gallon for gas recently, so gas prices aren’t going down. This means going anywhere for a vacation will cost more. The cost of driving is more than double what you had to pay last year.

So where to go, get away from the daily grind, have fun and not go broke? Over the past two weeks I’ve been suggesting places you could go, I’ll do it again this week, but focus on places in Kansas. I know a lot of people in Beatrice go to Kansas lakes for a variety of reasons.

If you’re looking for exciting fishing opportunities, Milford Lake is in the middle of the Flint Hills and Kansas’ largest lake with a full 15,700 acres and 163 miles of shoreline. There are sandy beaches for swimming, 14 public ramps for launching boats, personal watercraft, canoes or sailboats. Three boat ramps facilitate and speed up access to the lake. At the south boat ramp there are fish cleaning stations with an electrical outlet and a mega grinder. A dedicated watercraft ramp provides a location where you can back your tow vehicle into the water and leave it parked there while on the water.

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The lake has public and private campgrounds, a resort, RV sites, cabins, and primitive campsites. Eight campgrounds offer sites with 91 electrical and water hookups, 51 electrical, water and sewer hookups, 92 primitive campsites and ten cabins. The cost to use Kansas parks is $5 for a daily pass at the park entrance, $25 for an annual pass, and $10 overnight for camping. You can purchase an annual camping pass off season for $152.50 or high season for $202.50. There are special passes for camping at one location for long periods of time. Check out the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at www.ksoutdoors.com. There are many different ways and different costs associated with camping in Kansas state parks, so take the time to study the website.

Fishing is what makes Milford Lake attractive to many Nebraskans. Anglers regularly get tangled up with wipers, walleye, crappie, bigmouth, smallmouth, spotted bass, and white bass. If catfishing is your thing, blue catfish and river catfish can make your fishing trip very exciting.

Rick Clabaugh is one such Beatrice resident who enjoys fishing in Milford Lake. “There are a lot of people in Beatrice who love Kansas for the fishing. “With Milford Lake, it’s only about an hour and a half,” Clabaugh said. “Sometimes I bet there are more Nebraska people than Kansas people.”

“I probably fish Lake Milford three to four times a year.” Clabaugh continued. “Last time I was there I was catching a 15 inch crappie! Broom fishing in the fall is fantastic.

“Although I haven’t done any camping there, the camping areas look great,” Clabaugh said. “Kansas has good facilities.

Clabaugh directed me to Brad Roether. Roether is the mayor of Milford and a fishing guide on the lake. “We get a lot of people from Nebraska who come fishing. Beatrice, Lincoln, Fairbury…lots of people. I think about 75% of the people on the lake over the weekend are from Nebraska. The fishing is just awesome. I see a lot of ‘Go Big Red’ signs on the lake and in the campgrounds,” Roether said. Roether operates Grandpa Boone’s cabin and outfitters. You can contact him at 785-223-1332.

For more information on visiting Milford Lake, call 800-528-2489

Tuttle Creek is also in the state’s Flint Hills. It is known for its excellent channel and flathead catfishing. Walleye and sauger can be found along the face of the dam. There are a good number of white bass and crappie

Tuttle Creek offers a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities. It is the second largest impoundment in the state, offering 12,500 acres of water and 100 miles of rugged, forested shoreline. The size puts it on par with the Harlan County Reservoir. In addition to fishing, the lake has picnic areas, a swimming beach, cabins, boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, courtesy docks, a full-service marina and dump stations.

For camping, Tuttle Creek has 1,250 acres and five different campgrounds and hundreds of campsites. You can choose from RV campsites with power, water and sewer to unimproved/undesignated primitive campsites.

If you like hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and horseback riding trails, there are plenty that allow you to explore the Flint Hills and native tall grass prairie. You can also find a golf course, an archery range and a gun range. It’s no wonder so many people travel to Kansas for entertainment!

If you need more information about Tuttle Creek, call 785-539-7941.

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