Skyline un-park

While I was growing up in Topeka I used to love to drive up to Skyline Park which sits atop Burnetts Mound. In recent years the city has let the park go to ruin, and even shut it down to all auto traffic at some point. I have tried not less than 8 times in the last 2 years to get back up there by casually driving by. Today I was bent on getting a nice sunset image – so I headed of to Skyline Park.

Upon arriving I found the drive padlocked – with, not kidding, four padlocks on one chain. Just to the right of this is a sign telling me it is open until a half-hour after sunset. This was not surprising to me, as this is how it sat the last 2 years.

Last fall Westar has taken an interest in revitalizing the city park. In October they had a volunteer work day to start it off, then in mid March they had another workday. Not sure when it will be completed, but I am looking forward to it. Kudos for local business taking interest in their community.

The drive up has many memories of my youth, from sledding behind an SUV (not a wise idea kids), to playing in the now-locked storm shelter. I even recall some time sitting on a blanket on the west side during sunset. We used to hop up there to see storm fronts in the area.

Moving on, I parked my van nearby and hiked up the north side, then tracked around and up the west side. The image below was taken just as the sun started to near the horizon. It was a picture perfect evening – just gorgeous.

If you want to see the other images from tonight, check here

According to this Cap Journal article, we may have a grand opening around independence day. Also, another blogger had the same locked gate issue and provides a ton of back story to the mound also.

One last thing I will add – here is a surreal  article from Popular Mechanics from March in 1967 relating to the mound & the 1966 F5 twister that leveled a huge strip of Topeka.

Nikon D7000 | 1/2000 | ISO 200 | 400mm | f/32 | flash - not used.
Topeka, Sunset, Skyline Park, Burnett's Mount



  1. Bloom

    nice pictures! The locks are for the different companies that have equipment on the cell tower at the top. Most of the combination locks are cell carriers like Verizon (red), T-Mobile and ATT and the keyed ones are utilities like ATT (different branch) and Westar. The old rusty one that nobody uses probably belongs to the city.

    Then there’s always that one lock that’s left “out of the loop” by someone who didn’t understand what daisy chaining meant…prompting a call to the home office and a large set of bolt cutters.

  2. Terri Anderson



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