Waterfalls, boulders and bluffs. And yes, it’s in Lee’s Summit.
By Roy Harryman
In the busyness of suburban life, we sometimes miss treasures right under our nose.
Charles David Hartman Memorial Park is one of those gold nuggets.
The park merges with Winterset Nature area and borders the Rock Island Rail Corridor: a three-fer!
Since I’m a lifelong resident of Lee’s Summit, I explored (trespassed) this area before it was a park. As a kid, I even remember spotting someone in a deer stand, rifle and all. Fortunately for all of us, the park is now open to the public and the hunters have moved on to safer pastures.
This park offers exploration opportunities from end to end. Cedar Creek cuts through the middle, and nearly it’s entire path is carved into exposed limestone. This has left numerous rocky pools, waterfalls and rapids. Cliffs, boulders and gravel bars abound. In addition, a Winterset trail takes you up a rocky bluff to overlook the park.
If you’re looking for wooded surroundings, the Winterset nature area offers shaded paths, wildflowers and native blooms in season.
This park is also the most convenient trail head for the Rock Island Rail Corridor Trail. Park at Hartman and explore north or south.
One last thing. Hartman is beautiful even in the dead of winter. Just watch your step.