Topeka finds a particular delight in parks where people can gather together for fun. From sprawling Gage Park, where you'll find the Topeka Zoo, a historic carousel and mini-train ride, beautiful botanical gardens, and a dog park, to cozy neighborhood parks that date back to our city's founding, you'll find parks throughout Topeka.

Keep the picnic basket ready for lunch al fresco at a scenic park! 

Park horticulturists plant over 70,000 flowers annually in more than 260 flower gardens scattered across Topeka. Nearly 100 varieties go into neighborhood parks, recreation centers, traffic islands, and the Kansas Avenue streetscape. Enjoy the summertime color, whether jogging in the park, enjoying a family picnic, or driving around town. Topeka is home to over 100 parks and green spaces.

Some special gardens include:

Crestview Park
This park is home to a disc golf course, Heartland BMX track, and the 13-mile Shunga Walking Trail.

Central Park
Central Park also includes a scenic fishing pond, a walking trail, and an open-air shelter for family picnics and other group functions.

Doran Rock Garden in Gage Park
Reinisch Rose Garden and Doran Rock Garden are gardens in Gage Park, at 4320 SW 10th Avenue.

The Reinisch garden features 400 varieties of roses with more than 6,500 plants. It is one of 23 test gardens in the United States for hybridizers and officially designated for its All-American Rose Selections. Peak blooming times are late May into early June and early to mid-September. Adjacent is the Logan Test Garden, a reflecting pool, and the Doran Rock Garden.

Ward-Meade Park Botanical Gardens
2.5 acres of botanical gardens are located in Historic Ward-Meade Park at 124 NW Fillmore Street. The gardens feature more than 500 varieties of flowers, shrubs, and trees labeled with their botanical names, and a water garden with a footbridge, gazebo, and benches.

Gage Park
This 160-acre city park was established in 1899 and is one of the largest parks in Topeka. It features the Topeka Zoo, a miniature train, an outdoor theater, and the Reinisch Rose Garden.

Also of note, Gage Park was featured at the beginning of the 1997 Stephen King novel The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass.

Oakland-Billard City Park
Visitors can enjoy many activities, including Mouse Trap Skate Park, swimming, community center, outdoor basketball, playground equipment, softball, baseball, soccer, grills, picnic facilities, and trails.

Hillcrest City Park
Hillcrest City Park is home to the Dean Smith Sports Complex. It features a swimming pool, community center, shelter house, tennis courts, outdoor basketball, playground equipment, grills, picnic facilities, and trails.

Garfield City Park
Visitors to this park will find a gazebo, Vietnam War Memorial, roller hockey, swimming pool, community center, and shelter house.

For more information on city parks, call 785-267-1156 or visit

Lake Shawnee
Lake Shawnee offers the most surprising recreational opportunities around! Lake facilities include The Garden House, Reynolds Lodge, marina, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, open spaces, campground, golf course, shelter houses, swimming beach with water slide, playgrounds, and water activities of every kind. Special events and recreation programs make it a favorite stop in northeast Kansas. Lake Shawnee Campground is open year-round for RV and tent camping. Special events are hosted throughout the summer for registered campers. Kansas State Fishing and Trout licenses are required for Lake Shawnee. Shelter houses are available for rental throughout the summer, with four shelters open year-round.

Shawnee North Community Park
Located north of Highway 24 at Kansas Avenue and NE 43rd, this park features some of the finest facilities, including a 15,555 square foot community center, nature trail, soccer field, four-diamond ball complex, playground, sand volleyball courts, shelter house, tennis courts, and family aquatic center. Programs are held year-round for everyone, from preschoolers to senior adults. Room rentals are available for family gatherings, parties, meetings, and special events.

Shawnee South Community Park
The Shawnee South Community Park offers various quality recreation programs and park facilities. Located near Montara, the park features Forbes Golf Course, soccer fields, a ball diamond complex, picnic and cookout facilities, playgrounds, and the Paris Community Center. The community center offers numerous programs for a variety of ages.

Hill's Bark Park
Hill's Bark Park is located at the southeast corner of Gage Park (10th and Gage) and was founded to provide a spacious, secure area for dogs to run and play leash-free. The park is open to the public from 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. Free admission. Visit online.

Rice Park
Near the Rice Community Center, disc golfers will find this enjoyable intermediate-length course with various shots. Visit online.

Public Fishing Areas In City Parks:

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, as part of their community lake assistance program, stocks all five ponds regularly, and all Wildlife and Parks regulations apply.

Westlake in Gage Park is available to the public for fishing. A barrier-free fishing dock and picnic shelter provide something for all family members.

Central Park Pond, 1534 SW Clay, is available to the public for fishing. A barrier-free fishing dock is available at this location.

Clarion Woods Park at SW 37th and Fairlawn. Please bring a hat and bug spray, and get ready to rough it. A barrier-free fishing dock is available at this location.

Freedom Valley Pond, located at 14th and Locust, is now stocked and ready for fishing. A barrier-free fishing dock will be constructed.

Ward-Martin Creek in Auburndale Park, located at 2400 SW Perry, is stocked with trout in the spring and fall. The Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks does stocking. Catfish are stocked in the spring and summer. Special KDWP trout fishing permits apply.

Please call KDWP at 273-6740 for more information on applicable regulations and dates or visit on the web.

All areas are available from 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Other Fishing Areas
The The Kansas River access boat ramp at Seward and Goodell provides access to the Kansas River.

We're on the Kansas River, located south of the intersection of 14th and Warren on the north side of the river provides a great place to fish. Most native species can be caught at this scenic location.

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