Oberlin Parks


Oberlin City Park

Located corner of Marks and Commercial

Oberlin City Park

Boy Scout Park  New Equipment Installed

Located south of town on highway 83 near the hospital.

boyscout park Oberlin KS

Photo by Amanda Sowers Photography
Photo by Amanda Sowers Photography

SAPPA PARK located two miles east of Oberlin includes Frisbee golf course, over five miles of walking trails, Shelter House for indoor picnics, primitive camping areas, RV camping spots (some with 30 AMP and some with 110 volt receptacles) and NEW PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT.

A donation box is located near the camping area to help pay for electricity to the camping areas


The following excerpts from the Oberlin Herald and the Oberlin Times help tell the history of Sappa Park.  Carolyn Burtis compiled all of these stories.

June 27, 1935 Oberlin Herald – the National Park Service announced approval of construction of a 500 acre park and lake 1 1/2 miles east on Sappa Creek.  The Kansas Fish OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand Game has approved taking over as a state park upon completion.  Most of the property belongs to Jay Paddock.

August 8, 1935 Oberlin Herald – CCC camp assigned to Oberlin to build park ……..construction and engineering services will be under the direction of the NPS, Washington.  So far as of now this park will be the only one in Kansas to be construction by NPS….  The 160 A lake will form another project and be constructed by the Works Progress Administration.

Nov 1935 the Oberlin Times reported congress approved spending $129,000 for the WPA portion of the project.  And work started on a large lake in the new Sappa State park… earlier in the year Elwood Brooks personally lobbied President Roosevelt for the park.

Oct 1938 – project completed – Park dedication set for September 1, 1939

This was the first National Park Property in Kansas and unlike most NPS developments it was actually operated by NPS employees from fall 1935 when the National Picnic Grounds OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAopened until it was presented to the State in September 1939 –  four full years.

According to the NPS website these parks were developed in all states and were called temporary parks and were not operated by the NPS.  Because of flooding delays this may have been one of the few temporary NPS sites that was actually operated by NPS as a park and staffed by NPS employees.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a BIG sign saying it was the “First National Park in Kansas”?

For more information on Sappa Park, please contact the Last Indian Raid Museum in Decatur County.  See there page on this website.