Baldwin City baldwincity.org is a city in Eastern Kansas in southern Douglas County where the soil is rich and wildlife is plentiful. Baldwin City is not only the home of the oldest college west of the Mississippi but wildflowers in profusion, some patches of the old prairie grasses, and some fine outdoor recreational resources reserved for public use.
The Clarice Osborne Memorial Chapel on the Baker University Campus, is a Gothic chapel, originally built in 1864, and brought over from Sproxton, England stone by stone and rebuilt in 1996 at Baker University. The surrounding church yard has been landscaped similar to an English church yard.
The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. Trains make a 11 mile round trip from Baldwin City to Norwood, traveling through scenic Eastern Kansas farmland and woods using vintage railway equipment.
Be sure to take a drive out in the country following the trail Quantrill used when he raided the area between Lawrence and Baldwin City. New trail signs have been placed and a map is available.
Built in the early 1960s and managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Douglas State Fishing Lake is located one mile north and three miles east of Baldwin City. 538 acres of land surround the 180 acre lake. Altogether there is over a square mile of varied habitats for fish, wildlife and recreation. Fish species in the population include bluegill, white and black crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, carp and white amur. Fish habitats provided include brush piles, tire and rock reefs, and old bridges and foundations submerged by the dam.
Baldwin City Maple Leaf Festival
Festival with more than 300 arts and crafts booths, parade, quilt show and train rides.
Typically drawing well over 25,000 visitors annually, the Festival derives its popularity from a wide range of family fun, food, and foot-stomping musical entertainment. Perennial favorites include a carnival, petting zoo, Kansas’ oldest quilt show and the Kids Zone with activities for children under 10. Enjoy free, continuous, live musical performances during the weekend.
The festival officially begins Saturday with the Kiddie Parade at 10:45AM and the Grande Parade at 11AM. More than 300 arts and crafts booths (indoor and outdoor) are open Saturday, 9AM-6PM. and Sunday, 9AM-5PM. For those in search of a snack, beverage or even heartier fare, a large selection of food favorites is available from local vendors both days. Guided bus tours to area historic sites run Saturday afternoon and the Midland Railroad’s excursion train to “Nowhere” operates hourly from 11AM-5PM both Saturday and Sunday.
Baldwin City is located 20 minutes south of Lawrence on US Hwy 56. Convenient parking for festival-goers is provided in satellite lots at the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center west of town on US-56, and at Baldwin High School, just north of US-56. Free shuttle buses run Saturday until 6:30PM from both satellite lots to the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center, which houses the Quilt Show and numerous arts and crafts booths. From there, a free tram service operates both days, providing easy access to all other festival locations and events.
To help ensure the safety and enjoyment of all who attend the festival, Baldwin City Council recently passed an ordinance prohibiting animals at public events. Exceptions include service animals and animals participating in official event activities. Festival-goers are urged to leave dogs and other pets at home.
The Maple Leaf Festival is always the third full weekend in October.