Junction City Journals

Milford - Our Secret Getaway

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A travel journal to Junction City by Casual Tourist

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas More Photos
Quote: Let me share a reluctant secret with you -- a place my husband and I consider to be our secret getaway. Milford Lake is the largest reservoir in Kansas. The lake has a surface area of 16,000 acres and 163 miles of shoreline. You wouldn't think that something so large could be a secret, but I've lived around a lot of lakes that are packed solid with people. This lake is not. There is plenty of open space. It is utilized for many recreational purposes, including nature watching, water sports, fishing, hunting, and camping, but there is always a private spot to set yourself down. So don't tell your friends about this -- just slip away by yourself for a private little getaway.

Milford - Our Secret Getaway

Overview

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Constantly changing throughout the seasons, this lake experience never duplicates itself. My husband and I find Milford Lake to be the perfect place to shake off the stress of weekday life. One of my greatest surprises upon moving to Kansas was learning that eagles spend the month of January resting at Milford Lake. What a majestic sight to see those regal birds perched high above your head, or better yet to watch it swoop into the water and scoop out a fish for lunch. Each visit I make to the lake reveals new and wonderful aspects of nature. In the spring and summer the lake is abundant with Great Blue Heron, hawks, ducks and gulls. I've seen fox and deer also. It is not just...Read More

Junction City Dining

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Restaurant | "Dining in Junction City"

Junction City Dining Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
There are several places in Junction City that my husband and I enjoy dining either before or after we visit Milford Lake. The most casual is Denny's, of the Denny's national chain, located just off of Interstate 70. The usual fare of breakfast at any time, dinners and burgers are served, sometimes rather slowly. I'd recommend Denny's in JC if you're not in a hurry. Another restaurant we enjoy is Cracker Barrel. Attire here is also casual and you can get breakfast anytime or have a sandwich or full dinner. Cracker Barrel also has a very interesting store where one can buy toys, clothes, antiques and other items. My husband and I both highly recommend Cracker Barrel. A third dining place i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 29, 2000

Junction City Dining
Throughout Junction City
Junction City, Kansas

A&W￿

Restaurant | "More Dining - A & W"

A&W Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
If you're in for some quick dining after a fun day at the lake, A&W can provide this for you. How can you resist an old fashioned rootbeer float? The food at this location is fairly good as far as fast food hamburgers are concerned. The facility offers dining inside or a convenient drive-thru service. For those of us old enough to remember the drive-up service A&W used to provide, the atmosphere of the restuarant is a little lacking. However, the service is pretty good and the dining room very clean.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

A&W￿
1911 Lacy Drive
Junction City, Kansas 66441
(785) 238-1600

Another Hidden Treasure

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Attraction

Another Hidden Treasure Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Milford Lake has a myriad of coves with camping and fishing possibilities. The secret is knowing how to find those areas officially designated as public access/wildlife areas. One that we happened upon recently is at the end of St. John's Road. To get to this area where camping is really "roughing it," take Hwy 57 northwest out of Junction City; turn west at the junction with 244 and stay on 244 for about 4 1/2 miles until you reach Dietrich Road where you should turn north and proceed for 1 mile, at which point you will reach St John's Road. Turn east onto St John's Road and follow it until you reach the wildlife/public access area. There is plenty of privacy here with a number of prime camping a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 17, 2001

Another Hidden Treasure
Saint John's Road
Junction City, Kansas

Eagles at Milford Lake

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
It was by accident that my husband and I discovered eagles at Milford Lake. Being nature lovers and having two dogs that need a lot of exercise, we have been visiting the lake frequently since moving to Kansas in June of 1999. It was in January, 2000 that we saw our first wild eagles. By the time we figured out that we were seeing eagles they were already leaving the area. I'm anxiously awaiting January to come around again -- I will be better prepared knowing what I am looking for.

There is no thrill quite like seeing eagles in the wild. I imagine what this land used to be like when eagles were abundant and it must have been such a marvelous sight.

Blue and White Heron at Milford Lake

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Heron are a graceful, large bird that look like standing sticks on the shore from a distance. I was curious the first time I spotted one on the spillway side of Milford dam. With camera in hand I went tripping over the stone shore in an attempt to get close enough to snap a shot of it. I mistook the bird for a crane at first, but upon research have learned that it was a heron. Kansas is abundant with these heron, especially around Milford Lake. One of the areas my husband and I like to visit is a wildlife and hunting area off of Rebecca Road. We've seen heron here on several occasions. We usually have to do quite a bit of walking to catch up with them, but there are those times when o...Read More

Fire by Wakefield Park at Milford Lake

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
During the spring of 2000 my husband and I were driving toward Wakefield, Kansas at the northern end of Milford Lake. We were taking a route through the Kansas State Arboretum when we noticed a thick cover of smoke hovering in the air. Curious, we drove toward the smoke. As we neared a wooded area near a RV park on the lake at Wakefield, we saw flames on the east side of the road. Taking a chance, we continued on the road through the wooded area. I'm not sure to this day if this was a controlled burn -- which happens frequently in Kansas -- or if it were an accidental fire, but several acres of wooded land were slowly burning. The flames and blackened earth came up to the roadside and ...Read More
Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
We have a Siberian Husky that absolutely needs to have exercise and room to run. We've found that even though he is supposed to be a snow dog, he loves attacking waves. And we find plenty of those at Milford Lake. Because of the large size of the lake and the low population of humans in this area it is often possible for us to allow our Boris to run off a leash. We always scout out the area first before allowing him his freedom. He doesn't swim, just likes to stand in the water waiting for waves to come at him and then he bites at the waves. It's really rather funny. So if you ever happen to be around Milford Lake and see a red Siberian Husky standing in the water biting...Read More

Hawks at Milford Lake

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Hawks are another of the wonderful birds that we see at Milford Lake. April 30, 2000 was an especially good day for watching hawks. My husband and I arrived at the lake in the early evening. Our main focus that day was simply to sit back at the lake and let the sounds and sights wash away the cares of the week. As we sat on the shore a couple of hawks soared lazily overhead and swooped down into a nearby tree. The gracefulness of their flight and seeming air-ballet only added to the peace we absorbed from being at the lake. Another day, in August of 2000, we saw what we believe to be an osprey. We first spied the white head far up in a dead tree, and so we thought it might b...Read More

Water Sports and Nature

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
There is a part of me that is reluctant to share Milford Lake with the rest of the world for fear of drawing too much attention to it and increasing the amount of water sport activities on the lake. This area of Kansas is not heavily populated and the lake is very large, allowing for both nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts to enjoy the lake together. Maybe the level of water sport activity will not increase to where it affects the wild life -- I sure hope not. It's good to see people using the lake for their own particular form of relaxation and entertainment -- and the way the lake is now there is room for both the nature nut and the water sport nut.

A Rare Sighting

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
I've been told by long-time residents of Kansas and people in the know that most of the large, long-legged birds in this area are blue heron. I was quite surprised to find large, long-legged white birds around Milford lake. Consulting my trusty Audubon field guide, I found that white heron were grouped with the blue heron. So, when early one morning while watching the sun rise over Milford Lake, I saw a white bird standing in the shallow water, I figured it was a heron. It wasn't until I examined my photos later that I discovered that the bird I filmed had black legs, not a heron attribute. This bird was clearly an egret. I've only seen one at Milford so far, but you can be...Read More

More Heron at Milford

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
It was on an early morning in August 2000 that I saw four heron flying together over Milford Lake. They flew together within my sight for at least 20 minutes, beginning off to the north and circling around to the east and south. They flew out of sight toward the south, still maintaining a sort of formation.

Prior to this, I had never seen more than two heron together, so this was quite a sight.

On this same morning I was able to film a single heron landing at a point toward the east, almost directly in front of me across a span of water. When these birds are landing is when one most gets an impression of their great wing span.

The Great Turkey Chase

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
One of the funniest events that happened to us at Milford Lake began when we were on the road home. As we drive along the edge of the lake I always keep an eye out for wildlife -- never know what you are going to see. The point at which we were traveling was fairly wooded, with breaks here and there. As we passed one break of about 30 ft between trees I noticed a field with some kind of large bird in it. We whizzed past at about 50 mph so it was hard to tell what I had seen. I told my husband that there was something in the field that we should check out, so at the next available turn-off he turned the truck around and headed back toward the clearing. When we first entered th...Read More

Deer at Curtis Creek

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Story/Tip

Deer at Curtis Creek Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Curtis Creek is entered via Trail Road and is one of the more developed areas at Milford Lake. There is a well-kept boat ramp and camping facilities here, as well as lots of paved parking. Normally, this is the type of area that we shy away from. During the winter however the camping grounds are closed off and the parking area and boat ramp are deserted, so we often stop to check out what wildlife might be around. January 2001 was such a time for us. We were on a quest for eagles, but found none. To our delight though we rounded the bend coming into the parking area and right in front of us were four marvelous deer leaping across the road. What a marvelous surprise. We were able to watch them ...Read More

Winter at Milford

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Story/Tip

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
Pristine beauty is what can be found at Milford on a snow-covered winter day. That and much wildlife. Hawks and eagles both reside at the lake during the winter and I have also seen several blue heron still lingering around the partially frozen lake.

There are several wildlife areas specifically set aside for viewing the creatures of nature. The roads in these areas are gravel or dirt and are not maintained, so you enter at your own risk, but if you feel confident your vehicle will get around in snowy conditions it's well worth exploring the winter lake.

Milford Lake Photo, Junction City, Kansas
Quote:
In late August a local oldies radio station sponsors an annual car show at the Milford Lake Thunderbird Marina. My husband being a car nut (and what guy isn't?), convinced me that we should go. There were about 40 vehicles set up for show when we arrived -- classic cars of all types. I enjoyed taking photos and my husband enjoyed looking over every aspect of each one of the cars. There was a dance scheduled to be held later in the evening but we did not stay for that event. Thunderbird Marina consists of the park area where the car show was held, a marina, beach, picnic grounds, and camping grounds. It is a lovely area of the lake, located off the West Rolling Hills exit t...Read More