WESTON BEND STATE PARK
Catch a glimpse of the Missouri River and enjoy nature?s sites and sounds just minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Kansas City metropolitan area at Weston Bend State Park.
Located on the Missouri River, the once-thriving town of Weston can credit its early success to tobacco growing and trade. Today, tobacco production still plays a part in the area?s economy. Five tobacco barns, one of which has been converted into a reservable enclosed shelter, remain in Weston Bend State Park to interpret the important role this industry played in the area?s history.
A scenic overlook, accessible to persons with disabilities, provides visitors with a view of the Missouri River, Fort Leavenworth and beyond. A hiking trail that meanders through the woods and along the edge of the bluff also provides great views of the river. Hikers and bicyclists will enjoy the peaceful setting of the three-mile paved loop trail that weaves through a hilly wooded area.
Secluded picnic sites, a playground and an open shelter, which can be reserved, make it an ideal place for family gatherings. For visitors wishing to get away for more than a day, a campground featuring basic and electric campsites, modern restrooms, hot showers and laundry facilities are available.
Spend a day away from everyday routines, taking in awesome views and enjoying the slow pace of nature at Weston Bend State Park.
Weston Bend State Park Campground Information
Weston Bend State Park offers basic and electric campsites. Services include a dump station, modern restrooms, showers, water, laundry and reservable sites.
Reservations are accepted for camping stays during the on-season only. With reservations, there is a required minimum stay for weekends and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.
All of the sites will accommodate a 40-foot trailer plus one vehicle.
Extra vehicle parking is only allowed in the showerhouse parking lot. Extra vehicle parking along the side of the road is not allowed; they must either be on the campsite driveway or at the showerhouse.
There is not overflow area.
A weather emergency siren is located on the north side of the park (just north of the campground). It can be heard by campers. 9-1-1 covers all emergencies. A pay phone is located at the showerhouse.
The park entrance gate is operated by key pad for after hours entry and free access exit.
The park gate opens daily at 7 a.m. Closing times are:
10 p.m. -- April through October
8 p.m. -- November and March
6 p.m. -- December through February
Campers need to be sure to arrive prior to gate closure time.
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Weston Bend State Park is located near Atchison, Kansas City and Kansas City
There are numerous picnic sites scattered throughout the park for visitors to enjoy. The Bee Creek Shelter, a converted tobacco barn, is an enclosed shelter that can accommodate up to 100 guests. It is an ideal location for hosting a large gathering or picnic. This shelter must be reserved in advance for $100 per day by calling the park office.
Located in the day-use area is a children's playground and an open shelter that can accommodate up to 50 guests. The open shelter may be reserved in advance for $35 per day. If not reserved, the open shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.
All trails are open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset. Pets must be kept on a leash. Bicycles are restricted to paved areas and bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Hiking is permitted on all trails. Horses, roller-skates/blades and skateboards are prohibited in all areas. For your protection and that of our resources, remain on the designated trails.
Hiking/Bicycling Trail : This trail is a three-mile asphalt trail that winds up and down the loess hills, which dominate Weston Bend State Park. The trail crosses a creek twice and intersectsPaved hiking/bicycling trail in winter. with Harpst Pass at the yellow bench, and the west ridge section of Harpst Trail at the white bench. Stenciled on the trail are mile markers to assist walkers wishing to increase their distance and time. Hikers may walk in either direction. Bicyclist must keep to the right. To the right is the trail pictured in summer and winter.
Mowed Area (hiking only) : Campground Trail is a one-half-mile loop located between the campground and the office. It offers hikers a glimpse of the warehouses at the distillery. This trail also surrounds a favorite bedding spot for some of the wildlife of the park.
Unpaved (dirt) Areas (hiking only) : North Ridge Trail is a two-mile trail (one up/one down) that follows the c. 1900 roadbed that once led from the farm (where you park to access the trail) to the barn and eventually Weston. The trail now takes you to the top of the loess bluffs offering a panoramic view of the Weston bend in the Missouri River. The French Canadian, Pensineau, operated his c. 1830-trading house in this area.
Missouri River Trail is a one-half-mile trail that takes hikers directly to the edge of the Missouri River.
Bear Creek Trail is a one-half-mile trail that takes hikers to what was the pre-1858 channel of the Missouri River. Sloughing of the bank changes the view and direction this trail meanders as it follows the creek to the Missouri River.
Those following the Lewis and Clark Trail (July 1804), will have the opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of the "mud, muck, mire and mosquitoes" that the Corps of Discovery experienced as you walk along Bear Creek Trail.
Harpst Trail consists of two distinct routes; Harpst Valley and the West Ridge section.
Harpst Valley is a one-mile loop that begins on the ridge to the left of the overlook path. The trail follows along the loess Missouri River bluffs until it reaches the manmade pass that once connected the internationally famous Harpst Orchards (c.1900) to a farm to market road between the bluffs and the Missouri River. Take the pass to the left (east). At the bottom of the hill, you will see Harpst Valley to the left (north). The valley once housed the orchards' large warehouse. Newspaper articles of the period note that peaches grown here were imported to English royalty. Follow the valley back to the overlook parking lot. A yellow bench is available for a place to rest.West Ridge trail loop.
West Ridge is a two and one-half mile loop that continues straight (south) past Harpst Pass and wanders through the forested bluff, paralleling the remnants of an old road that once led to a homestead. Once the hiker begins their descent, they enter the Bee Creek bottoms. In the late 1850s, Potawatomis were encamped here during a forced relocation. Soon you will find yourself at a white bench on the paved trail. Turn left on the paved trail. When you see the yellow bench, follow the path up Harpst Valley to the overlook parking lot.
Interpretive programs are offered on some Saturdays from April through October. Contact the park office at (816) 640-5443 for a current schedule of programs.
From Kansas City/St. Joseph:
Take I-29 to Exit 20 (Weston/Leavenworth and Atchison, KS). Take Hwy. 273 toward Weston. At the intersection of Hwy. 273 and Hwy. 45, turn south/left. The state park entrance is one half mile on the right/west side.