Rentals open to the public during park’s upcoming open house

By Paul Harris

Tuttle Creek State Park offers visitors a chance to step back in time while unwinding by staying in one of its cabins.

There are 11 cabins located throughout the park, and none of has a television or a phone. (Though cell-phone users can still get reception.)

The latest of these were finished just last year. Four of the cabins were built near the state park office and the main lake in 2005, park office manager Joyce Dixon said.  A few more were added 2009, and the last in 2011, with some cabins overlooking the Spillway Marina in the Cedar Ridge Area.

Tuttle Creek State Park will show off its cabins as well as other features during an open house next weekend.

The event will be Saturday, March 31, in various areas of the state park, and will feature a tour of the Cherokee Cabin from 11a.m. to 3 p.m.

Other highlights include the Nihart Archery Range open from 1 to 4 p.m., the Fancy Creek range open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a garden tractor pull at 11 a.m., and the Rockin’ Rabbit 5K/10K Race from 8 a.m. to 11a.m. for Flint Hills RSVP.

The structures were built by prisoners in the Hutchinson Correctional facility as part of a work training system.

Dixon said the cabins are busy throughout the year and are popular lodging destinations for hunters, anglers, returning Fort Riley soldiers, and family reunions.

Returning soldiers like them because it gives them a chance to unwind free of the distractions posed by phone or television, Dixon said.

All of the cabins are booked for Memorial Day weekend and Kansas State University’s spring graduation weekend. Cabins are not available for rent during the annual Country Stampede music festival.

Inside, the cabins are equipped with a full-size bed, bathroom, heat and air conditioning, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. There is also a futon and a pullout bed. Guests are required to bring their own linens.

Outside of the cabins are a picnic table, a fire ring, and park-style grill. Tuttle Creek also places a visitor’s pamphlet in each of the cabins. The pamphlets provide a guide to Manhattan and Tuttle Creek State Park.

Up to six people can stay in the all of the cabins, except for the Pawnee cabin, which holds four people and a pet. If you bring a pet, there is a $50 additional charge.

Cabins can be rented per day or per week. Between April 1 and Sept. 30, or what Dixon calls the prime season, prices will increase by $10 per day.

The Cheyenee, Pawnee, Kanza, and Osage cabins, all located near River Pond Road, are 12 feet by 28 feet. They can be rented per night for $65.50 between Sunday and Thursday, or $75.50 from Friday through Saturday during the prime season. The weekly price is $450.50.

The seven other cabins are 16 feet by 34 feet, and can be rented during the prime season per night for $75.50 per night from Sunday through Thursday, and $95.50 per night from Friday to Saturday. The weekly price is $520.50. Reservations can be taken up to one year in advance.

Dixon said there are no plans to add more cabins in the near future, but it’s not due to a lack of interest.

“We are pretty good right now,” she said. “The state parks are in a flux with the funding. We are in more of a holding pattern right now.”

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