Pawnee Prairie Park is one of the most beautiful parks that Wichita has to offer. It is a staggering 624.49 acre Wichita Wild Habitat area. If you look at the Wichita Parks and Rec Facebook page, you'll see this park is also a hot-bed of discussion. According to a historical marker at the park, Pawnee Prairie was originally intended to be used as a place for people to bond with their horses, but a recent Parks and Rec decision has opened up the park to bicycles, and Wichita horse-lovers are not happy. A City of Wichita FAQ page states: "Pawnee Prairie Park improvements will soon be underway. These include repair to the existing concrete path and the addition of sustainable material paths for bicycling that will connect to the Air Capital Memorial Park and eventually to the Prairie Sunset Trail. This issue grew out of increasing requests from area residents to utilize Pawnee Prairie Park as there are no other significant park amenities available to them. The improvements, an attempt to balance the needs of area residents with equestrian users, are designed to have minimal impact on horseback riders, wildlife, and the natural footprint of the park. There has been much discussion at the Board of Park Commissioners meetings and other public input over the past several months that has provided guidance and subsequent revisions. Our goal has been to create a space to attract more visitors and to allow the families of Wichita to enjoy a natural setting while riding, hiking, or bicycling in southwest Wichita."
We took advantage of the paved path on our visit, and thought it was lovely. We were on foot, and really enjoyed walking part of the nature trail.
- Playground: None
- Outdoor Shelter
- Picnic Tables
- Nature Trails – One mile paved
- Wichita Wild Habitat Area
- Bathrooms: Yes
The Plumlee Trails portion of the park is to remain a hiking and equestrian only area.
Mom Tips: This park is a great place to adventure, but please follow the rules and don't let your kids bike where it's prohibited. There's a lot of picnic tables, so it would be a nice place for a sunset picnic and hike.
Kid Tips: Weston wants to meet someone with a horse that will let him ride the trail. Until then, he thinks the park is awesome, but he wishes he would have brought his binoculars.