In Sherman County we have the Smoky Garden River. While it may not always have water in it anymore, at one time it was a local hang-out. From Dr. Gulick to families having a BBQ to 4-H kids learning how to fish the Smoky Garden has been a part of our community.
In 1965 the Sherman State Wildlife Area was built on the Smoky, to showcase the wildlife of Sherman County. At one time the Smoky Garden River had water in, and enough water that during the winter months when it froze people of Goodland and surrounding areas would head out there to skate. Dr. Gulick would take his car out on the ice and give people rides on his unique
sled. Families have been having BBQ’s and picnics on the grounds of the Smoky Gardens for years. It provides a peaceful spot to rest and a chance for the kids to play and run around. The picture on the left shows three women and three children on the bridge at the Smoky Garden River. This photograph shows a little bit of the scenery of the area and helps show what a great family or friend get together spot it is! When the river was stocked with fish 4-H would take a group of kids out to learn how fish. 4-Hers would be all around the banks of the river to try and catch a fish.
When the river is full it is fifteen surface acres with a maximum depth of fourteen feet. Currently the lake level is dry but when stocked the fish that can be found there include bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, saugeye, and trout. This information and more on where to fish in Kansas can be found on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website. The Wildlife Area that was built near the river was primarily built for fishing. Unfortunately the lake leaked and was drained dry. Now the area is mostly used to showcase the wildlife in the area. Whitetail deer, mule deer, pheasants, and rabbits are the animals found in the area. During hunting season, hunters can go out to the wildlife area and hunt. There are walk-in areas so visitors can take a stroll and see some of the wildlife from Sherman County as well as a way to get out and about and see Sherman County. This information and more can be found on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website.
Even though the river is dry at time, the Smoky Gardens area and the Sherman Wildlife Area are great places for get to togethers, picnics, a chance to look at wildlife from the county, and sometimes a pleasant place to fish. The Smoky Gardens have been a part of our community and provides a unique spot in Sherman County for people of all ages.