Fort Scott Tribune

A Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event early next month will give attendees a chance to enjoy the Kansas Rocks Recreation Park.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, the KRRP and the Brush Beaters Jeep Club will host the chamber “Before Hours” event which coincides with the annual Wheeling for Wounded Vets event that is being organized and sponsored by the Brush Beaters Club. The event will be conducted from 9 to 10 a.m. at the park, which is located just northwest of Fort Scott near Mapleton. Complimentary donuts and beverages will be available for all attendees.

Chamber members and their families will be able to receive free admission to the park that day. A typical one-day pass to the park costs $10 per vehicle or $5 per bike or hiker, according to an FSACC statement.

In order to truly appreciate the park, chamber members may take a free short trail ride with experienced drivers from the Brush Beaters Jeep Club. Rides are usually only available once or twice a year and cost $10 per person, so chamber members are encouraged to take advantage of this one-time offer, the chamber statement said.

Several activities will be available for those attendees who want to spend the entire day at the park. Visitors with BMX bikes or mountain bikes may put their skills to the test at the park. Hiking is also permitted, and a well-equipped playground is available for children. Chamber members who own four-wheel drive vehicles and pickups are welcome to bring those vehicles to the park. Most stock four-wheel drive vehicles can negotiate the main trails, the chamber statement said.

Motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and horses will not be allowed in the park.

At noon, lunch may be purchased and a limited number of shelters with picnic tables will be available for visitors. As a matter of safety, no alcoholic beverages will be permitted in the park. Attendees who wish to enjoy the park the entire day may want to bring lawn chairs, sunscreen and bottled water, the chamber statement said.

Free will donations for the park will also be accepted and all contributions will be given to the American Legion Post 25.

In addition to being a fun outing, the event is also an excellent chance for area business owners to connect with frequent visitors to the park. Last year, 4,255 people visited KRRP, the chamber statement said.

“The park brings people to Bourbon County,” the statement said. “It’s up to us to bring them into Fort Scott.”

Founded in 2003, KRRP is a privately-owned 240-acre park. Motorized four-wheel drive vehicles, non-motorized bicycles and hikers are welcome on the trails, which feature steep rocky hills, dense woods, and creek crossings. It is open to the public all year, weather permitting.

The park is owned and operated by KANROCKS Recreation Association, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Johnson County. Three of the association’s board members live in Bourbon County; Uniontown resident Chad Lowry, and Fort Scott residents Jason Burton and Kate Emmett-Sweetser.

In addition to the annual “Before Hours” event, the KRRP also hosts an annual toy drive during the Christmas season to collect toys for needy Bourbon County children.

The Brush Beaters Jeep Club, based in Southwest Missouri and Southwest Kansas, was formed to allow Jeep owners to get together and experience Jeep ownership. The club schedules trail rides every month in a variety of locations throughout the four-state area.

Typically, Chamber Coffees are conducted on Thursday mornings and Chamber After-Hours events are conducted in the evening. Since this new event will take place on a Saturday morning, the FSACC Board of Directors has dubbed it the “Before Hours” event, the FSACC statement said.

To get to the Kansas Rocks Recreation Park from Fort Scott, take U.S. Highway 54 west about eight miles to 125th Street. Turn right onto 125th Street and travel north about six miles to Tomahawk Road. Turn right onto Tomahawk Road and continue east for about half a mile, then turn left onto 130th Street and continue north for half a mile to the park’s gate. Park signs mark each turn along this route.

– By Jason E. Silvers, Tribune Staff Writer on 7/27/2009.

Original article located at http://www.fstribune.com/story/1557830.html