|Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a hayride in Heritage or Shawnee Mission Park|
You can organize and reserve your own Group Hayride or simply join the fun on one of the two Public Hayrides scheduled this fall. Either way, your journey will end with a warm campfire where apple cider and marshmallows await.
“It’s a great activity for families and groups to get out and enjoy the park for a couple of hours and experience a campfire together,” said JCPRD Park Police Officer Richard Niemann, who coordinates district hayrides.
Reservations are being taken for Group Hayrides offered between Sept. 14 and Nov. 24. Hayrides can be scheduled seven days a week in Shawnee Mission Park during that timeframe and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Heritage Park.
JCPRD hayrides are tractor-drawn, last approximately 60 minutes, and are followed by a 60-minute campfire. The cost of a Group Hayride is $6 per person or a minimum of $65 when there are ten riders or less. A $30 deposit is due at the time the reservation is made and is applied toward the full amount due. There is a maximum of 25 people per wagon and one adult per 10 children is required.
Reservations for the Group Hayrides must be made at least two weeks in advance of the hayride date. The hayrides fill quickly, though, so please be sure to call early to assure your choice of dates. To schedule a hayride or for more information, call (913) 831-3359.
“Book early because the primary dates in October around Halloween fill quickly,” added Outdoor Education Manager Bill McGowan.
For individuals or families wishing to participate in a hayride without having to worry about reaching minimum numbers or placing a deposit, Public Hayrides are also being offered on Sept. 22 and Nov. 3. Both take place on Sundays and begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Oak Ridge site in Shawnee Mission Park.
The cost of the Public Hayride is $6 per person and preregistration is required. To register for either of the Public Hayrides, call (913) 831-3359 or go to the Register for Activities page at jcprd.com and search for program barcode 18018 (for the Sept. 22 hayride) or barcode 18019 (for the Nov. 3 hayride).
Shawnee Mission Park hayrides got a new location beginning in 2012 when they moved to the Oak Ridge parklands located on a ridge west of Ogg Road on the north side of the park. The area includes about 360 acres of spectacular scenery featuring wildflower meadows surrounded by hardwood forest and some fantastic views down the valley.
“That was very popular,” McGowan said of the change. “The participant evaluations reflected that they really enjoyed having the rides off the roads, more like a country hayride.”
The parking area for the hayrides in Shawnee Mission Park is located at 7460 Ogg Road in Shawnee. It can be reached from either Midland Drive to the north or from 79th Street within the park just north of the swimming beach.
Heritage Park is located at 16050 Pflumm Road in Olathe. The hayrides in Heritage Park will leave from Shelters 2 and 3 located on the west side of the lake at 14304 W. 160th Street.