Main Street Kansas: Recent rain helps state’s waterfalls roar

Main Street Kansas

DEXTER, Kan. (KSNW) – While the recent rains have led to a lot of flooding, they’ve also fed some beautiful waterfalls in Kansas.

In the spring, one at Cowley State Fishing Lake is supposed to be among the best in the country.

“Yahoo.com ranks it as one of the top 10 in the nation,” said Kurt Grimm, public land manager for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. “This is the emergency spillway. When the lake gets full, the water comes out this way.”

Built in the 1950’s, a 20-foot limestone drop-off creates an impressive waterfall; yet many Kansans still don’t know about it.

“It’s kind of one of those secrets in the state of Kansas, but it’s getting more popular,” said Grimm.

Just off U.S. 166 near Dexter, a small sign points the way to the waterfall. It’s a stunning view from the top but tricky to climb to the bottom.

“Yea, it’s a little treacherous, said Grimm. “You have to take your time.”

Kurt Grimm, Public Land Manager

Fishing and photos are popular here, but swimming is not allowed.

Another waterfall that’s high by Kansas standards is at Geary State Fishing Lake, about 11 miles south of Junction City. Viewer, Jamie Wills, took video of the spring runoff at full force.

Geary State Fishing Lake waterfall (Courtesy: Jamie Wills)

Kansas also has several smaller, natural waterfalls, like Wildcat Creek in Moline.

It’s a favorite for 5-year-old Owen, who lives right down the street.

“Go with my dad down to the creek and find fish for my fish tank,” said Owen Morgan, holding a plastic bucket.

“We go up there and play in the falls, swim around, and just have a good time,” said his father, Dylan Morgan.

On this day, it took them no time to catch a crawdad!

“Got him!” yelled Dylan, as Owen scooped up the critter in his bucket and proudly showed him off.

But perhaps the most popular waterfall, for fishing at least, is at the Drury Dam, near Caldwell, a perfect spot to reel in catfish.

Marcus Jackson shows off a fish he caught near Drury Dam near Caldwell. (KSN Photo)

Just above the water, you can see the state’s oldest swinging footbridge, built more than a century ago.

Marcus Jackson and other anglers position themselves on a ledge under the falls.

“All the flathead come up here, they can’t get past it,” said Jackson. “There’s probably a 25-foot deep hole out there. They can’t get past it.”

Jackson had just caught a four-pound catfish but says he once pulled in a 54-pounder!

If scenery is what you’re after, there are even more waterfalls within a day’s drive and at their peak right now. They are the silver lining to a soggy season in Kansas!

Here’s a list put together by KansasTravel.org.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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