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  • Writer's pictureBeth Parkhill

Places to Camp Outside of Kansas City: Pomona State Park

I have been wanting to camp for a while, but we have been so busy, that when we DO have a free weekend, we just want to stay home. Am I right?

We FINALLY had the chance to take our first camping trip together (after 4.5 years of marriage)! I did some research, and there are quite a few places to camp near Kansas City. After looking through all of them, I picked Pomona State Park.

Pomona has a lot to offer. It tends to be more of a fishing lake, then a speedboat kind of lake. Camping was not overcrowded and there were plenty of amenities nearby.

"This 490-acre park on the shore of 4,000-acre Pomona Reservoir features scenic beauty as well as an abundance of wildlife. Well-known by northeast Kansas residents for shady campsites and a great family atmosphere, Pomona State Park is in a transition zone from prairie to eastern woodlands and also offers great wildlife viewing. The park is nestled in an area with historical connections to the Santa Fe Trail, as well as easy access to several metropolitan areas." - Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism

So we packed up the car and headed out! It was only about an hour until we arrived. The people at the front were super friendly and helpful.

There are all different kinds of camping experiences there. You can rent a cabin (they were super cute) and honestly I kind of wish we would have rented one... more on that later. There were a lot of RV sites and primitive campsites as well.

We picked a primitive spot right off of the lake. We had a fire pit, but no picnic table, and there was no one on either side of us. I have a camping tradition, that as soon as you get to your campsite, you have to open up a beverage and cheers. Then you splash a little on the ground, you know, to "bless the land". It's dumb, but my favorite camping tradition.

Speaking of traditions, of course, we brought stuff for s'mores, but that was not even close to my favorite campfire food we had on this trip! The best thing, was CAMPFIRE NACHOS! We brought everything ready to go (meat cooked, etc). You just fill up a double layered sheet of foil with all of your favorites and let it warm up over the fire! The smokey campfire taste brings nachos to a new level!

I made it super simple on myself. The meat, queso and most of the other toppings were pre-made from Sam's Club. I didn't have any onions, but I had a TON of chives, so I pre-cut those and brought them along for the trip, too.

We brought our corn hole game, but we mainly just sat by the fire, had some drinks, and enjoyed each other's company. It got pretty cold that night, so we made a LOT of fires.

If your experience is like ours, you may run out of firewood pretty quick! There is a cute shop owned by the sweetest couple (Gerald and Rene) just outside of the park, where you can grab any extra items you might need! It's called Windy Hill Homestead Supply, and its located 2926 E. 229th St., Vassar, KS 66543. We loaded up with firewood and some other cute little things from their shop and headed back. They are only open Thursday - Saturday, so make sure you stop by and say hi for me!

We were glad Brian and Alicia, our close friends, were with us! They are much better at building fires than we are!

Camping at Pomona was quiet for the most part. There were a couple of larger groups camping a couple of sites away, but they were not too loud. Pomona is pet-friendly as long as your fur-baby is on a leash, so we got to spend time with these little snuggle bugs on our little vacay.

Overall, I would say that it was an excellent trip and we would definitely camp at Pomona again.

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