Halfway between Denver and Kansas City there's an exit on I-70 that delivers you smack dab in the middle of Ellis, Kansas. Population: 2000. After a long day of downhill driving, this was our intended destination for the night. Why Ellis? Because it has the coolest campground ever!
We spotted the Ellis Lakeside Campground last fall when we were here (in a rental car) for a family wedding. We saw it as we entered the church. After the ceremony, we cruised through the place and liked it so much we made it a "must stop" on Bullwinkle's first pass across Kansas.
So, what makes this the coolest campground ever? Well, if that view across the creek isn't enough for you, we'll fill you in. This campground is a city park with 16 wide, level and shaded gravel pull-through sites with spacious grass areas, a picnic table and fire pit. All of the sites face Big Creek (aka Ellis Lake), which is less than 50 feet away.
With a lake in front of you, the view is very serene. With just 15 other sites and all of these stately old trees, the place is very calming. There are just a couple of other campers in the place tonight, which makes it extra peaceful. And, the people who are here are as cheerful as can be. (Kansans are just like that, you know?)
The campground sign provides all of the essential information you'll need for your stay. We'll point out a couple of key features. First, campground fees are collected by the Ellis Police Department. (Paul had a great "small world" conversation with the fine officer who stopped by our place shortly after we were set up.) So, you know the place is safe! Second, about those fees. While we think this very pretty, peaceful spot is priceless, the City of Ellis charges a mere $15 a night. Add $3.95 and you get smokin' hot wifi, too.
Too bad we can't stay longer. Tomorrow, we're off to Salina. Something tells us the KOA there won't be anything like this cool little place.