Sporty scene

Lake Shawnee

SE Croco and 29th, Topeka

Shawnee County's largest and finest recreation spot, Lake Shawnee offers generous entertainment options for all. The centerpiece of the park is the lake, which stretches across 410 surface acres with about 2.75 billion gallons of water, providing a home for waterfowl and a popular destination for fishing, wind surfing, swimming and boating. The lake also can be enjoyed from picnic tables and shelters that surround the lake.



Hummer Sports Park

SW 6th & Tuffy Kellogg Drive, Topeka

Named for former Topeka police chief Dana Hummer and his wife, Louise, Hummer Sports Park is the crown jewel of the Topeka Public School's athletic facilities. Constructed on property once belonging to the Topeka State Hospital, the six-sport facility (funded with a $17.5 million voter-approved bond issue) opened in the fall of 2003 on the north side of SW 6th between Oakley and MacVicar.



Rueger Softball Complex

2851 S Kansas, Topeka

Rueger Softball Complex features four softball diamonds with 300-foot fences, a concession/restroom building with a second level observation deck; underground irrigation system; tournament quality lighting; electronic scoreboards; landscaped grounds; and a large play area shielded from stray balls with a net. The complex, located off S. Kansas Avenue near the Country Club Shopping Center and Kansas National Guard, opened in 1999 -- the result of a partnership of the city of Topeka, the Kansas National Guard and Topeka softball players, who contributed more than $400,000 to the project.



Oakland Billard

2000 NE Sardou, Topeka

Oakland Billard Park, located in the Oakland area not far from the Sardou Bridge, has a little bit of everything, from a playground to a community center. Park goers will find a small swimming pool and baseball and softball backstops. Basketball hoops are located off the parking lot. Oakland Billard Park also features a concrete refuge for skateboarders, known as the Mouse Trap Skate Park. For children, its play area includes some classic playground toys, including teeter-totters, a kid-powered merry-go-round, swings, a slide and a climbing toy that resembles a car.



Hillcrest

1800 SE 21st, Topeka

Hillcrest Pool provides cool stopping grounds for Hillcrest Park, but there's lots more to check out beyond the pool's zero-depth entry, frog slide, drop slide, diving board and rain-drop waterfall. In the park, beautiful, mature trees provide welcome shade on a sunny day. The trees can be enjoyed from the benches that dot the landscape or the way they help keep the smooth basketball and tennis courts just a little cooler. The park also features an open-air shelter, grills, and a mix of modern and older playground equipment, including swings, teeter-totters, slides and a merry-go-round.



Felker

2540 SW Gage Blvd., Topeka

Felker Park, named for a former mayor, features athletic fields and the showcase Kossover Tennis Center, which was named the 2008 Facility of the Year by the United States Tennis Association. Competition on the courts ranges from middle school competition to Missouri Valley USTA tournaments. In 2006, Kossover completed almost $1 million in renovations -- finishing a vision for the tennis center that went back to its start in the 1970s.



Shunga Glen

2400 SW Washburn, Topeka

Located on the east side of Washburn Avenue from SW 22nd to Shunga Drive and east to Buchanan, Shunganunga Creek gives this large park a split personality.

On the sunny west side of the creek along Washburn is the Rip-On Skate Park for skateboarders, in-line skaters and bicyclers. This 9,310-square-foot concrete non-lighted facility features two pyramids, ramps, quarter pipes, grind rails, bank-to-bank ramps and a bowl. There's also a soccer field, some playground equipment, part of the Shunga Trail and a water fountain.



Santa Fe

1500 NE Division, Topeka

Santa Fe Park, in the Oakland area, features plenty of colorful playground equipment to keep youngsters busy while softball games are played at nearby fields. Located northeast of Division and Lime, Santa Fe Park sits near the Kansas River. The colorful play area features swings for children and toddlers, slides, climbing toys and a tire swing. There's space for picnicking and lots of shade over and near the main play areas. A smaller play area between the fields allows parents to keep watch of little ones during games.



Ripley

300 SE Lawrence, Topeka

Train enthusiasts will love kicking back at this park. No, trains don't run through the park, but the expansive park off SE 3rd and Lawrence neighbors busy train tracks. The park itself offers plenty of room to run across its fields and features a mix of newer and older play equipment including climbing areas, swings, slides and teeter-totters. The play area is well shaded, and a large gazebo provides a welcoming spot for picnics. Grills are located near the gazebo as are restrooms. Lots of picnic benches. The park also features playing fields and several outdoor basketball courts.



Major Palm

1815 SW 37th, Topeka

Major Palm Park provides plenty of space for sunny play and features a spot for playing softball games. Major Palm also has a play area with a merry-go-round, swing and equipment for kids who like to climb. At the entrance to the park, a plaque pays tribute to the park's namesake, Major Willard G. Palm. Palm died July 1, 1960, when a Soviet MiG fighter shot down the Air Force RB-47 he was aboard. The plane was on a peaceful reconnaissance mission over the Barents Sea, outside of USSR airspace when it was shot down. The heart of the park sits back from SW 37th Street.



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