Places To Go

Platte Falls CA

Enjoy hunting, eagle viewing, target practice and more at this Platte River area northwest of Kansas City.

Start your new year with a winter outdoor adventure at Platte Falls CA. Located off I-29 between Kansas City and St. Joseph, the 2,366-acre area features a diverse topography of bottomland, upland timber and old fields. A 9.1-mile, unchannelized stretch of the Platte River also winds through the area. It supports good hunting for a variety of wildlife, and it also offers rewarding birding, hiking, canoeing, fishing, trapping and target practice.

Platte Falls is archery-methods only for deer hunting, and late-season bow hunters will find good populations of deer. Rabbit hunters who seek out the constructed brush piles will find a fair population of rabbits. Goose hunters can look forward to decent prospects in some of the area’s larger crop fields this month.

If the river remains unfrozen, birders have a good chance of seeing eagles fishing over open water. Known as a birding hotspot, the area boasts a list of 146 species, including many kinds of waterfowl, birds of prey, flycatchers, wrens, thrushes, warblers, tanagers and grosbeaks. Plan to return in spring as migrating birds return north from their tropical wintering grounds.

Although there are no designated trails, the area’s many access roads and footpaths give you easy access to the river and its associated wetlands. The area also offers use of a kids’ fishing pond and pavilion for organized groups with a special-use permit, something to keep in mind when the weather warms up.

If you’re up for winter canoeing, try putting in at the Duck’s Head, a two mile meander that nearly meets itself at the duck’s “neck.” This narrow land bridge between the two deep curves features two parking lots, allowing you to put in and take out at virtually the same location. While you’re afloat, consider casting a line for catfish or buffalo.

If winter floating and fishing don’t appeal to you, check out the unstaffed disabled-accessible archery sight-in range; the 15-station, walk-through field archery range; and a shotgun range designated for clay bird target shooting.

If trapping is your thing, call the area manager (the number is listed below) for a special-use permit.

Before traveling, check the area’s Web page (listed below) for notices, directions and regulations, and the area map and brochure.

—Bonnie Chasteen, photo by David Stonner

Recreation opportunities: Birding, canoeing, fishing and hiking; hunting for deer, dove, quail, rabbit, squirrel, turkey and waterfowl; target shooting and trapping with a special use permit

Unique features: Boat ramps, pavilions, shotgun and archery ranges, fishable ponds (two acres total) and permanent stream (Platte River)

For More Information

Call 816-858-5718 or visit the link listed below.