David Cook "Bumper" Memorial Park

3224 S.E. 6th, Topeka

When 16-year-old David "Bumper" Cook was shot to death in 1994, a friend and neighbor looked for a way to honor the slain teenager. That friend, JoAnne Peavler, decided on donating a small stretch of grassy land -- a quiet sloping spot off SE 6th and Rodgers, across from the Collective Brands/Payless headquarters. The park was created with help from the End Neighborhood Improvement, the Topeka Youth Project and AmeriCorps. It is a peaceful green spot with concrete benches.

Seward Avenue Boat Ramp

NE Seward Ave. and NE Goodell Rd., Topeka

This concrete boat ramp provides access to the Kansas River. It is located on the north side of NE Seward Ave., where Seward curves to the south and becomes NE Goodell Rd. (six-tenths of a mile east of where the Oakland Expressway crosses Seward). There is a parking area at the top of the ramp.


1420 SE Lott , Topeka

This small, quiet park, located on the northeast corner of SE Michigan and SE Lott, is less than half an acre in size, but it still offers a park bench, swings, picnic table and BBQ grill.

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.


520 SE Norwood, Topeka

From SE 5th and Norwood, follow the sign pointing east to this park and community center site that stretches behind houses and a church. Inside Rice Community Center, you'll find a gym, game room, computer lab, universal weight system in the fitness room and classroom space. During the school year, the center is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Fridays. During summers, its hours change to 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.


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.

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.


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.


1230 SE Pinecrest, Topeka

This little southeast Topeka park sits off SE Pincrest, just west of Indiana and Ross Elementary School. The park is mostly green space with some playground equipment: four swings and two teeter-totters.

Motorcycle Area (Riverside Park)

1500 NE Chester, Topeka

Enter the Motorcycle Area (also called Riverside Park) at 1500 NE Chester, where Chester intersects with North Avenue by the Oakland area. Enter off Chester and head over the dike to trails. Most dirt bike and quad riders forge their own trails.

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