Sand Hills State Park
One of the best places in the state to access sand dunes on public property is Sand Hills State Park in the Arkansas River Lowlands just northeast of Hutchinson in Reno County. The 1,123-acre area has 14 miles of hiking, interpretive, and horseback riding trails that loop through sand dunes, grasslands, marshlands (with wildlife observation blinds), and woodlands.
Over millions of years, streams that created the Arkansas River valley carried sand and other sediment eroded off the Rocky Mountains, depositing it along the way. Southwesterly winds picked up the fine sand and sculpted it into a narrow band of dunes. After grass and other vegetation took hold, the shifting sand became relatively stabilized.
Vegetation in the park includes bluestem grass, cottonwood trees, dogwood bushes, and, in the spring, native wildflowers. Wildlife includes ducks, geese, songbirds, deer, and muskrats.